Rating **** Reviewed by Tony
The Globe
Written by William Shakespeare Directed by
Eve Best Two years on from her triumphant performance as Beatrice
in Much Ado About Nothing, actress Eve Best returns to The Globe
for her directorial debut with this often mesmerising production of
Shakespeare’s darkest tale. While Kenneth Branagh is understandably
receiving the majority of column inches for his Manchester Festival
production of the play, Best’s often unique take is no less
deserving of attention and I’m happy to say the wonderful Globe
Theatre was packed to the rafters. This is a fine and hugely
enjoyable Macbeth. Joseph Millson’s portrayal of the Scottish lord
who is driven to acts of pure evil to achieve power after a
prophecy by three witches that he will become king is perfectly
balanced; at first calculating then more frenzied as he is wracked
by guilt and paranoia, but still driven to further murder as his
lust for power becomes all consuming. But from what is an overall
excellent cast (the witches are wonderful), it’s Samantha Spiro as
Lady Macbeth — Best played the part herself here in 2001— who
really stands out. Spiro’s is a performance of gripping intensity
that has you on the edge of your seat as she moves from the
manipulative power behind the throne and descends into madness. The
direction is finely nuanced and Best’s ability to seamlessly blend
high drama, often brutal action and moments of dark humour make
this a compelling and thoroughly atmospheric production. The Globe
and the weather played its part as well; the scene that opens the
second act where a now crazed Macbeth meets the witches for the
second time was bathed in the twilight of a glorious summer
evening, creating a spellbinding mood that the most talented of
lighting designers would have been proud of.
Cast Macbeth: ​Joseph Millsom Lady
Macbeth: ​Samantha Spiro Macduff​: Stuart Bowman Banquo: ​Billy
Boyd Duncan: ​Gawn Grainger Lady Macduff​: Finty Williams Witches:
​Moyo Akandé / Jess Murphy / Cat Simmons Malcolm​: Philip Cumbus
Seyton: ​Jonathan Chambers Lennox: ​Harry Hepple Donalbain
/Fleance/​Colin Ryan Young Macduff Porter: ​Bette Bourne Ross​:
Geoff Aymer