Macbeth - The Tobacco Factory.

Photograph by Mark Dawson Photography

(Photograph by Mark Dawson Photography)

In essence, this is a production of remarkable quality with expert performances.
The tone is Morose and serious. Very serious. Any brief moments of wit within the text are performed with sombre intensity. However, what is lost in those fleeting moments of humour, is used to construct an even deeper sense of unease throughout.

The presentation of the Weird Sisters is original and bold. Their faces and mouths are covered in white material and their inhuman voices resonate from beyond their bodies, causing three indistinguishable and unsettling life-forms, ones which we (who are acquainted with the text) are as unfamiliar with as Macbeth and Banquo.

Jonathan McGuinness (Macbeth) and Katy Stephens (Lady Macbeth) are excellent in their performances. Although, their characters are given little development. The shift in Power and motivation within these characters is something which lies at the heart of this play, yet little of the psychological interplay between Macbeth and his wife is explored in this production. The choices and conviction of their characters remains the same, leaving little tension within their trajectories. But nonetheless, these characters are played masterfully and McGuinness and Stephens enrapture the audience throughout. Aaron Anthony plays a grounded and assertive Banquo and Simon Armstrong's Duncan is compelling.

Adele Thomas directs a powerful production, which is aided greatly by Max Pappenheim's sound design. His work evokes the audience on a visceral level, drawing them helplessly into a world which is heavy, dark and filled with dread.

Macbeth runs from the 27th of Feb to the 22nd of April at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol.

Director: Adele Thomas
Set & Costume Designer: Anisha Fields
Sound Designer: Max Pappenheim
Lighting Designer: Matthew Graham
Movement & Fight Director: Kev McCurdy

Cast:
Banquo Aaron Anthony Malcolm Jack Riddiford
Duncan Simon Armstrong Ross Kirris Riviere
Lady Macduff Maggie Bain Lady Macbeth Katy Stephens
Porter/Witch Cait Davis Macduff Joseph Tweedale
Macbeth Jonathan McGuinness Witch/Gentlewoman Laura Waldren

Author's review: 
3