Macbeth - Reviews - Daily Mirror

Last Update: 15 November 20002

Source: Daily Mirror
15 November 2002
Kevin O'Sullivan

The last time they worked together she was Miss Moneypenny and he was 007's enemy 006 in the James Bond movie Goldeneye.

But in their latest joint endeavour Samantha Bond and Sean Bean discover there is no such thingas a licence to kill.

As the misguided Macbeths, they equip themselves with distinction while leading us through Shakespeare's macabre journey into hell and murderous madness.

Nowadays Bean is known for his TV drama roles and is also a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood.

But in the West End, he went back to his classically-trained roots. I thought that at times he failed to capture the necessary cruelty inherent in Macbeth's craven character. He preferred to portray a decent man led astray.

But as the chaos caused by his vile crimes derail him, Bean's Macbeth succeeds in dominating Edward Hall's production. Miss Bond also took time to come into her own. As the woeful wife unravels and plummets into suicidal lunacy, Samantha proves she is capable of more than casting doe-eyes at 007.

Occasionally, this production didn't quite know where to place itself. The notorious Weird Sisters are anyting but knarled and hobbled withces but more resembled Atomic Kitten. And in terms of time and space, the warring factions incongruously sway from swords to machine guns.

Sometimes we are in Scotland then suddenly we seem to be in Kosovo. But for all its unevenness and occasional tendency towards pop video garishness, this Macbeth had me on the edge of my seat.

As Macbeth's slayer, Macduff, Mark Bazeley was a revelation. His tears on learning of teh slaughter of his family provoked mine.

It has been thirteen years since Bean last trod the boards. Let's hope he doesn't leave it so long again.

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