Theatre review by Penny Bristow

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Macbeth –Encore screening from Manchester International Festival

South Holland Centre, Spalding

This very high profile production – written by William Shakespeare and directed by Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford – was performed in a deconsecrated church in Manchester.

The audience were on facing banks of seating along the nave, at times extremely close to the action. The floor was strewn with black peat and in the aspe at the east end was a sea of church candles.

The opening scenes found the audience in the midst of drums beating, rain soaked enactments of battle scenes, mud splattered actors and the trinity weird sisters which invaded the senses immediately and throughout the whole two hours it was a roller coaster capturing the battle hardened world of Macbeth, who became more and more unhinged and volatile.

Needless to say that Kenneth Branagh (Macbeth) and Alex Kingston’s (Lady Macbeth) performances were mesmerising and potent, but for me the best performance of the night goes to Ray Fearon (Macduff).

nThe South Holland Centre is screening Othello with Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear on Saturday, September 28 at 7pm.