Macbeth, The Globe, London. July 2013
After my experience with Macbeth earlier in the year I was feeling very unsure about going to see this. It also turned out to be the hottest day of 2013 so far - were we mad going to see a traditionally bloody play in such heat?
I'm pleased to say that once more the Globe as a venue didn't disappoint. We are quite canny with our seat choice and luckily we remained in the shade throughout yesterday which did make the whole day more enjoyable!
The first play we saw at the Globe was Much Ado About Nothing starring Eve Best and this version of Macbeth was her directorial debut - and for me it was a success. The play came in at just under 2 hours 30 but told me the story far more clearly than I could have hoped. Thanks to the daylight and staging it was easy to keep the characters straight, and rather than this version being awash with blood the violence was so restrained that when it did occur it was all the more effective.
There were Scottish actors in the play but the accents weren't too heavy and the speech clear so that not a word was lost. Humour was added to the play through facial expressions and the character of the Porter but it remained clear that this was a tragedy. Lady Macbeth is the driving force of Macbeth's actions and slowly their ambition drives them to insanity. The ending with Macbeth's (erroneous) confidence that he cannot be beaten is wonderfully realised.
I don't think that Macbeth is ever going to be my favourite play but this version has proved to me that it is still a good play and reinforced my opinion that I prefer my Shakespeare in the open air, performed as it would have been originally.
Despite the heat London was lovely - it felt like the Olympic spirit all over again as you heard the cheers from outside bars where people were watching Wimbledon. Strolling around St Paul's eating ice cream made a perfect end to another great day at the Globe.