Monday, 2 May 2016

Macbeth by Leeds Arts Centre

Image credit:  Leeds Arts Centre
(Accessed from

I recently saw Leeds Arts Centre's production of Macbeth.  This production coincides and commemorates Shakespeare's anniversary of his death (23rd April 1616).

Macbeth is one of Shakespaeare's well known tragedies.  At the time when it was written witchcraft and  regicide were punishable by death.  So Macbeth with these themes certainly have been appropriate.  Jealously, murder and revenge also certainly feature.

This production is certainly dark and contemporary.  Dimmed lighting is used throughout. The limited props used are suited to the tragedy and doesn't distract the audience - which excessive props can.  The costumes worn are modern and fits the staging ambience.

It is important to see the witches (performed by Ayshea Megyery, Margaret Savage and Paige Shaw) in position during some of the scenes.  It reminds one that witchcraft and witches were frightening issues when Shakespeare wrote Macbeth.

Lovely use of visuals particularly at the end of the second act, with the backdrop of trees representing the Dunsinane Woord where Macbeth fought his final combat against Macduff.

Excellent performance by the casts particularly performances from both Rick Brookes and Ruth Berkoff as the disturbed Macbeth and Lady Macbeth respectively.  All under the direction of Rich Francis.

Macbeth is certainly a favourite tragedy and each production I've seen makes me appreciate Shakespeare's mastery as a playwright with his writing style and the contextual themes considered at the time.  Certainly a lot to ponder about.  Another successful production by Leeds Arts Centre.

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