Liverpool Everyman
Presented by Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse
Directed by Gemma Bodinetz
6th May - 11th June 2011

Review by Colin Serjent

On a fitting note, this staging of Macbeth, starring David Morrisey - who began his acting career as a teenager with the Everyman Youth Theatre - will be the last major production to take place at this esteemed venue, before the building is razed to the ground with a £28 million redevelopment taking its place in two years time.

According to Director Gemma Bodinetz, it is based around the time of the Chernobyl disaster - none of the national or local reviews have even suggested this - with an austere staging, encompassing sounds of electrical static, harsh lighting, loose wires trailing everywhere, together with the presence of poisonous liquids and flames.

Morrisey turns in a fine performance as the murderous Macbeth, with his charismatic and dark presence but his vocal delivery sometimes lacks conviction. But he convincingly conveys Macbeth's mood swings, as the demons rage around him.

Macbeth, perhaps foolishly heeding the prophecies of the three witches - one of which bizzarely was a man! - allied with the corupting influence of his wfie (Julia Ford), leads to the slaying of the King of Scotland to take over his crown, but falls foul of his dark deeds when he himself is assassinated.

Two thumbs up for Bodinetz for a highly original and thought provoking version of The Scottish Play! Particularly impressive was the overridding sense of decay and nihilism.

Two thumbs up also for designer Francis O'Connor, who has constructed an almost sci-fi looking backdrop, and composer Peter Coyte, for a dynamic and aggressive-oriented soundtrack.

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