The image of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in the elevator at the end is particularly stunning. There they go, hurtling into hell.
Yeah, I liked the elevator.
2010-12-13 04:05 pm (UTC)
I have always regretted...
... not seeing a full Hamlet with Ian Richardson as the prince and Stewart as Horatio.
2010-12-13 04:15 pm (UTC)
Re: I have always regretted...
One can never see too many Hamlets.
I've seen David Warner and David Tennant on stage- and several more in other media.
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.
I am very glad; I have not yet seen this production, but based on his Claudius in Tennant's Hamlet, I've been really wanting to.
What would you have cut?
The director- Rupert Goold- is a show-off- and the production is full of distracting directorial business- clever stuff that hasn't really been thought through. For example, it's clever to have the witches appear as military nurses, but what does it mean? Who or what does Goold think they are?
I'm an admirer of Trevor Nunn's Macbeth- with McKellen and Dench- a minimalist production filmed in a black space with a lot of close-ups and a fierce concentration on the text. Nunn's witches are a team- a young woman who channels the spirits and two older ones who control her. Nunn knows who his witches are and exactly what they're doing- and their lines (which Goold rushes through because he can't be bothered) make sense. Goold's production is full of unthinking theatrical bravura, but Nunn's is intelligent.
I watched 5 minutes. Some punter gets shot. It is 11th century Scotland, why were they in Slovakian sodding uniforms from 1939?
I sympathise. I nearly bailed out early too. It's a flashy, silly production, but worth persevering with for the sake of the performances. Stewart is a great Macbeth.
I am so glad to hear this. Maybe some day I"ll actually get to SEE it. MacBeth is the first Shakespeare play I ever saw (I'd read everything I could get my hands on, but seeing it LIVE is a whole 'nother story) and it is one of my favorites.
The last production I saw, the three witches were two men and a woman.
In the text the witches have "beards"- which is a good enough excuse for having them played by men.
I saw Macbeth on stage in my teens in a production chiefly distinguished by the presence of the young Tom Courtney as Malcolm.
Also, in the Guthrie's recent production, the MacDuffs were murdered in a bathroom--the boy was drowned in the tub, Lady MacDuff was stabbed and dragged to the tub where her throat was slashed. Then the girl child, who had been cowering downstage center while this is happening quietly starts to sob. The murderers see her, and advance on her as the lights go out. Chilling.
This production was fairly brutal too in its use of violence, though it spared us the full-frontal child murder.
I missed it:-( J was in two minds whether to watch it or not - he doesn't like these clever-clever Shakespearean productions staged in modern dress. In the end, it was earlier than we'd expected so we watched the end of Tremors instead. Oh, how intellectual!!!
I imagine it'll be repeated.
Shakespeare's own practice was to play everything in contemporary (Elizabethan/Jacobean) dress. Putting Macbeth in 2Oth century battledress is no more outlandish really than putting him in carefully researched early medieval armour.
I really enjoyed it. Mrs Macbeth was a funny, bony creature in clothes that seemed to be threatening to fall off the whole time, but the set (Welbeck Hall in Nottinghamshire) was also a star of the show.
Susan Fleetwood has the most amazing cheekbones.