Review: Macbeth, Derby Theatre

Picture of Paul Tinto as Macbeth by Mark Sepple

A slick and assured production of Shakespeare’s blackest of fables, Macbeth, is currently being staged at Derby Theatre.

We were promised ‘an epic and intensely terrifying period version’ of the play so it was, with some relief that we could go along confident that the three witches wouldn’t be sporting tutus and high heels.

Indeed, director Douglas Rintoul gave us a dark and brooding set with thick shadows and flickering candlelight, haunting music and clever sound effects. 

The battle scenes were superbly choreographed  by Bethan Clark, and were cleverly portrayed using silhouettes through a transparent backdrop and the subtle addition of blood.

It was a weighty adaptation of the classic with the talented, passionate, ensemble on stage for more than two hours – maybe a fraction too long but it was worth it to see the powerful ending. 

It is unnerving to think that this drama written more than 400 years ago still resonates today – an unstable nation torn apart by political ambition and power struggles. Those who seek power for its own sake are warned of the despair such skullduggery can cause.

The cast are Rikki Chamberlain, porter; Martin Johnston, Duncan; Adam Karim, Banquo; Danielle Kassaratè, Lady Madduff and witch; Daniel Kendrick, Captain; Colette McNulty, witch; David Nellist, Ross; Ewan Somers, Macduff; Phoebe Sparrow, Lady Macbeth; Paul Tinto, Macbeth, Connie Walker, witch and Tilda Wickham, Malcolm. Fleance is being played by three young actors Leo Fox-White, Will Flear and Joel Fox-White and young Macduff by Christopher Johnson, Jay Cartwright and Qasim Asfar.

The other creatives were Ruari Murchison, designer; Daniella Beattie, lighting designer; Paul Falconer, sound designer and Chrissy Maddison, costume supervisor. 

Macbeth is a Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and Derby Theatre Production and it can be seen until March 14. For tickets click here.

To see a trailer for the show see below.