Stewart is magnificent. I thought he might be a little too old for the role, but he must be the buffest, most vigorous seventy year old on the planet. He has the menace, he has the bluff manly charm, he has the inner panic. It's a genuinely illuminating performance. This, you come away thinking, is what dictators are like; this is what Stalin was like, this is what Mao was like. Susan Fleetwood as Lady Macbeth is haunted and haunting.
Unlike every other Shakespeare play of this stature Macbeth is short on great acting roles; the thane and his wife move among shadows. That said, the supporting cast is terrific- and Michael Feast turns that old ram-rod MacDuff into a proper human being. The scene in which he receives the news of his family's death- and gulps silently for breath and composure- is joltingly painful.