Sunday, May 19

Macbeth – Leeds Playhouse

Mesmerising! This show had my full attention from start to finish, the sinister atmosphere took full control over the full theatre and it’s fair to say the performance was a triumph to the Shakespeare play.

Director Amy Leach has taken this traditional tale and put a modern twist on it, the set design was extremely fascinating and a creative tactic for refreshing a well-known story. With real mud and puddles spread across the floor of the stage, beams in positions like trees and the wooden floor that raised to create different dimensions, the audience had no choice but to be immersed within the action.

For a small cast the energy was at a high, the first battle was extremely upbeat and the decision to endure the war with a modern tune in the background was really enticing and fresh. The three witches were an influential trio, and their narration inspired the whole story, their performance was gripping from their body language to their speech, every word sent a shiver down my spine and demonstrated the thrilling feel Macbeth is all about. As soon as Macbeth’s voice echoed across the room my ears perked up, Ash Hunter was both sinister and sensational, his aura had the audience in suspense.  Although we know the story Ash’s performance has enhanced everything we knew about Macbeth and taken his character to a whole new level.

Photo: Kirsten McTernan

The story of Macbeth takes place within the shadows and the lighting impressively projected the murderous interactions onto the walls which was influential in adding layers to the tale. After witnessing this play the main inspiration to take away is the incredible performance from Adam Basset, he was truly hypnotising and a credit to the deaf community, proving that acting is something all social groups should have the chance to find beauty in. Despite the devilish sensation the story enforced on the most part, snippets of wit and humour pierced their way through the tension. Particularly through the acting from Ross, played by Benjamin Crawley who took attention away from the intensity and made situations that bit more lighthearted. After the Macbeth’s dinner party Ross completely capture’s the art of the hangover, his quick wit and inside jokes had the audience in fits of laughter giving the show that bit of balance.

Overall, across the entirety of the show the audience is engulfed into the action and taken as a prisoner in the same way Macbeth becomes imprisoned within his thoughts. In the best way possible, you become bewitched by what you see before you and the tension became addictive, after leaving those theatre doors you’ll never see the narrative of Macbeth the same and will consistently be in reference to this play.

Playing until 23rd March, https://www.leedsplayhouse.org.uk/event/macbeth/

Reviewer: Phoebe Olivia Sian Hobson

Reviewed: 7th March 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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