Citizen’s Theatre (Glasgow)
19.30 (matinees Sat & Wed)
To celebrate the coming of James VI of Scotland to the throne of England in the wake of the barren Queen of England, Elizabeth, the inimitable bard produced his only scotcentric production, the powerful & gory psychological tragedy that is Macbeth – think Lady Macbeth as bunny-boiling Glen Close in Fatal Attraction. Four centuries later, both the play (known as the Scottish play) & its poet are firmly entrenched in the collective consciouness of the British, & it is this fact that allows the cutting edge ‘Filter Theatre & Tobacco Factory,’ to tinker about with the play knowing full well that the audience will understand what the hell is going on.
So essentially, this particular Macbeth is Shakespeare for the Shakesperians, in which at one point Macbeth (played perfectly by Ferdy Roberts) finds himself reading from the ‘Brodie’s notes’ on his own tragedy – talk about plays-within-plays.
This rendition is pretty good, however, a Kafka-esque vision of apocalypse with mad little gremlins running about inside of your TV seat, twiddling buttons & carving out eerie soundcapes. That’s no metaphor, by the way, for the stage set is like a 1990s mound of music-emitting wires & gadgets, like a macrocosmic version of Musikfabrik’s ‘Delusion of the Fury.’ At its heart sat multi-instrumentalist Alan Pagan, a delight to listen to & observe his craft at first hand.
Of the board-treading troupe, I found the acting to be top notch, my favourite being Paul Woodson as Malcolm. The rest of the cast harmonized in the Greek fashion, & they together work’d this neo-modern, chopped & spliced, confectionary-included version of the Scottish play with some style. FOUR STARS
Reviewer : Damo Bullen