The National Theatre arrived in Belfast this week with their new post apocalyptic interpretation of
Vastly different from any version of the play you may have seen before or spoken about in English class, Rufus Norris takes Macbeth out of 11th century Scotland and into a new era, present day after a civil war. An interesting and unique take on such a well known story that has been received with mixed feelings from the beginning but I thoroughly enjoyed. My personal experience with Shakespeare stops at GCSE English so it was wonderful to see such a bold re-imagining of a story that brought me so much boredom for 2 years.
Rae Smith’s breathtaking set really brought the audience into the post-war world, a huge drawbridge dominating the stage and trees made from Chinese poles that the witches scale throughout the performance.
The unusual setting for the play may not have worked if it weren’t for the brilliant Michael Nardole and Kirsty Besterman as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth respectively. A stand out scene being the banquet in which Macbeth sees the ghost of his slain friend Banquo. Nardole raves about the stage in fear that gives Macbeth an air of vulnerability allowing the audience to connect to the character while Besterman, as the powerful, focused Lady Macbeth tries desperately to control him in front of their guests.
The witches were definitely a highlight of the show, Moritz Junge’s stunning costumes gave them an unearthly feel and the performances from Elizabeth Chan, Evelyn Robert and Hauk Patterson brought the characters to life in a way that was mildly terrifying. Sitting in “trees” after athletically scaling poles, they delivered the iconic lines that begin the show and from there on in the audience is hooked.
Overall it was a gorey, poignant, unconventional look into the work of Shakespeare that provides an interesting take on the classic characters and leaves the audience both touched and terrified.
The production runs until Saturday 9th March, with tickets available for Matinees and Evening performances, click here to get tickets or call the Box office on 028 9024 1919