Murder and madness, tears and tragedy, buckets of blood and bags of quavers. ‘Twas a rough night.

Compelled by a prophecy that he will be king, Macbeth butchers the innocent incumbent, seizing a power that quickly gives way to paranoia and escalating horror.

Ferdy Roberts leads this modern production, with his relentless physicality transitioning from early swagger to frantic paranoia as the consequences of his hellish situation unfold.

Literally bathed in blood, he remains indelibly marked throughout by the cowardly murder, marking all those he comes into contact with.

a refreshing lack of reverence

Poppy Miller’s compelling Lady Macbeth brings an unnerving comedy and increasing madness as events grow beyond her control. Victoria Moseley and Geoffrey Lumb as Banquo and Macduff respectively deliver stern takes on their characters, in stern contrast to the hysterical Macbeths.


Compeer Tom Haines incorporates custom-made musical apparatus into the setting of the play itself, to deliver an unsettling synthy score with more than a hint of mid-eighties BBC TV soundtracking. Think early-era Red Dwarf, and you’d be close.

This starkly staged and fast paced Macbeth also brings a refreshing lack of reverence through splicing scenes, reassigning lines, and delivering meta moments that really work – including a killer beat involving a Coke can – to land a punchy, memorable take on a classic tale. Double, double, toil and trouble indeed.

Leigh Venus at Northern Stage, 11th March 2015

Originally published in Narc Magazine