- Written by
- William Shakespeare
- Directed by
- Shelagh O’Brien
- Ian Lake and Krystin Pellerin
Stratford artistic director Antoni Cimolino ripped a page from the Game of Thrones playbook last season to create a sexy, youthful and bloody Macbeth. But catching it on film, directed for the Stratford Festival HD series by Shelagh O'Brien, it's hard to understand the rave reviews – partly because what must have looked chilling on stage becomes merely murky on screen, and partly because the production's concept is not carried through with sufficient conviction into the second half.
Ian Lake's nasty young Macbeth and Krystin Pellerin's grasping Lady Macbeth make a lascivious and impetuous pair, their scenes offering a compelling contemporary version of bloodlust and ambition, but the rest of the production is soon travelling rather erratically down familiar roads.
Creepily costumed witches begin the show strongly, but resort to mere shouting on their second appearance; Michael Blake's moving MacDuff is paired with a Malcolm (Antoine Yared), who makes their scene together psychologically incomprehensible before men hiding behind pine boughs finally rush the stage. For a contemporary cinematic Macbeth, see Justin Kurzel's 2015 film instead.