Presented by Daniel Taylor Productions
Epstein Theatre, Liverpool
7th – 16th March, 2019

Reviewed by Finvola Dunphy

“What’s done cannot be undone.”

Stormy excitement awaits the audience at Liverpool’s Epstein theatre as Daniel Taylor Productions presents a thrilling rendition of the Bards most revered tragedy.

Like most, I have read Macbeth and seen countless film adaptations, but nothing compares to a live performance. With no attempts at modernisation and contemporary resonance, last night renewed my appreciation for Shakespeare. Director Daniel Taylor honoured the original play with a psychologically provocative and deeply engaging depiction of Macbeth.

A smoke-filled, thunder-stricken theatre thrusts the audience into the 17th Century where sovereignty was revered. A reminder of the traditional hierarchical structures and the horror that can ensue during the quest for ultimate power.

Peter Mitchelson deserves his own standing ovation for his masterful sound and lighting direction. The tragedy was brought to life by flashes of thunder, atmospheric fog and live sound effects performed barely visible through the gauze.

The three witches enticed us with their shrill voices and mystical predictions as we’re introduced to King Duncan’s Scotland, played expertly by Warwick Evans. The gothic set was in-keeping with expectations of a cold, mysterious castle where morals and ethics are compromised in the pursuit of power for power’s sake.

Macbeth’s mental turmoil was boldly captured by Sean Jones, who provided the character with a brutish masculinity interspersed with frightening psychological anguish. Tracy Spencer-Jones delivered a stunning interpretation of Lady Macbeth, truly capturing the heart of stone that will inevitably disintegrate.

After the murders took place, much needed comic relief was masterfully delivered by Lenny Wood’s striking portrayal of drunk Porter. Roars of laughter erupted from the audience as he made his way through the aisles of the theatre hiccupping and stumbling while clutching his bottle of liquor.

Daniel Taylor’s production is a truly immersive audience experience with actors entering from all corners of the theatre at any given moment. On the edge of your seat, you’re never sure which way to turn and what is lurking in the dark corners of the Epstein’s historic walls.

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