What Is the Story of Macbeth?
In this chilling reimagined production of Macbeth, Tony winner Alan Cumming tackles nearly every role in Shakespeare’s iconic fight for the Scottish throne, including Lady Macbeth, Banquo, the three witches and of course, Macbeth. Set in an eerie mental institution, the story is told by a lone psychiatric patient through the use of surveillance cameras, props and an observing doctor and orderly who periodically check in on him. As the drama in Shakespeare’s masterpiece intensifies, the patient slips further into his own madness.
Directors John Tiffany and Andrew Goldberg layer the production with spooky sounds and moody music and keep Cumming on the move—he races up stairs, climbs atop tables, gazes into a mirror and gets chatty with a doll.Review by Joe Dziemianowicz from New York Daily News
The actor even makes a convincing Lady Macbeth, who in his interpretation emerges as a frankly earthy figure willing to use sex as a bargaining tool.Review by Thom Geier from Entertainment Weekly
What is Macbeth Like?
Alan Cumming’s new Macbeth is a fresh and terrifying take on a classic, interweaving the story of one man’s descent into madness seamlessly into Shakespeare’s tragedy. Using a doll, a mirror, three TV monitors, a bathtub, a mysterious package and quite a bit of blood, Cumming delivers his frightening version of Macbeth in 90 minutes, while stone-faced hospital employees watch from an observation window. Audience members who are familiar with Shakespeare’s tragedy are more likely to be engaged—familiarize yourself with the play before seeing Cumming take on the role(s).
Is Macbeth Good For Kids?
A resounding no. Although older teens may be fascinated by Cumming’s portrayal of nearly every character in the Bard’s tragedy (especially if they have studied Shakespeare in school), the production is far too violent and psychologically intense for young children.