NODA review of Macbeth

Performance: 17th September 2014

Review by Keith Pendall

I have to be honest and say that I have never really been a fan of The Bard and his works. On arriving at the Mill Theatre I met the director Barry Thompson who assured me that this was a completely different take on one of his most famous plays “Macbeth”. On entering the auditorium I began to understand what he meant. What a fantastic set, many congratulations go to Barry and Ron Johnson for the design and also to Ron and the Monday night Team for the construction. I thought the set was ideal for the venue and gave so many opportunities for innovative ideas to be carried out. I found the use of bringing the 3 witches through the arches and then disappearing behind the set most effective. Whilst on the subject of the witches , Kaye Stevens, Eireann Mason and Laura Backhurst all gave very convincing and powerful performances and I really liked the movement they were given, so congratulations to Cara Sigsworth.,

This was a very powerful production from beginning to end and of course congratulations go to Barry Thompson for putting so much energy and enthusiasm into the play. Even if you are like me who does not count himself as a Shakespearian enthusiast no one could doubt the professionalism of all aspects of the production. Make up and costumes all added to this and again it was obvious that a lot of thought and effort have gone into it.

Adam Pitt as Macbeth himself was outstanding in the role. He had the most clear and rich sound to his voice and really acted the part ,bringing out all the torment, jealous and anguish of the character. Annette Codrington in the role of Lady Macbeth again suited the part in every aspect. She clearly showed her manipulation of Macbeth and also toward the end showed very convincingly how the madness was beginning to creep in. She did not fall into the trap of overplaying this. Other characters who deserve a mention are David Midlane a very strong and reliable member of any production as Duncan. Lester Cooke also showed the anguish and despair of Macduff very well, as did Jo Baxter as Lady Macduff in the quite disturbing scene when her children were slaughtered. I also really enjoyed Rod Arkle as Banquo, again a strong character who was very clearly spoken in every scene he was in.

All in all Barry and his team should be warmly congratulated on this production, I understand that this is the first” Shakespeare” that the Trust have undertaken. With productions of this quality I am sure it will not be the last.