Showing at the
From 7th September 2012
Living with Macbeth was billed as a psychological story about reminiscence
and past glories. About actors and what they do... and what they should
not do. Written by Paul Braithwaite and Kevin Brannagan it cleverly explores
the line between actors, ability and celebrity. A two man show, manipulating
the story easily between past and present, flows beautifully between the
actor who, having played all the big roles; Hamlet, Lear and of course
Macbeth, now simply lives within his past glory and the celebrity comedian,
who after a successful stint on Big Brother, has taken a career turn when
he takes on the part of Macbeth.
Paul Braithwaite and Kevin Brannagan easily pull the show together, highlighting
the fine line between passion and obsession. Reading other peoples reviews
in the paper shows the bitterness and jealousy that comes when the limelight
is no longer firmly on you. They highlight how actors need to justify
their existence, relying heavily on their work to do so. They touch on
the ridiculousness of celebrity, whist all along incorporating the original
text of Macbeth into the script. As the play continues, the two men turn
on each other, each blaming the other for their failures and disappointments.
The play relied heavily on clever lighting work to add the feeling of
panic and anxiety, a feeling backed up perfectly by the small theatre.
The concept was wonderful and the idea of their tortured souls struggling
right before our eyes made the play gripping and all consuming. If only
they had edited out a rather daft section involving a stuffed parrot puppet
reciting Shakespeare this would have been perfect. The highlight for me
was as the actor remembers falling in love with the stage as a young boy
in his first ever play, only now realising that as he took on that first
character, he has never been himself since; he has always been character.
Beautiful, powerful and all encompassing. A massive success!