Macbeth at Northern Stage Newcastle Review


Northern Stage, Newcastle

10-14 March 2015

Reviewed by Amy Jones

Last night What’s Good To Do have attended Filter’s non-traditional take on Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Macbeth.

As soon as you sit at your seat you can tell immediately that you are going to be viewing something very different with a number of sound making machines and props in the middle of the stage. The play starts with one of the character’s taking 4 cups of coffee to the 3 witches labelled double, double, toil and trouble which again gives you a taster of how the theatre company, Filter, have adapted the play, adding in a few touches of quirkiness. After the coffee start up the opening scene really begins where Macbeth meets the 3 witches who prophesise that one day he will become King of Scotland, and thus planting the seeds of ambition that would lead Macbeth to the crown but ultimately end up in his downfall.

A big part of Filter’s performances is the use of sound and in Macbeth they certainly don’t disappoint. They cleverly use sound effects, haunting music, microphone feedback, and even a radio broadcast to deliver news (such as the army marching north to depose the tyrant king). One brilliant example of this was how they showed Macbeth killing Macduffs children – by him turning off a baby monitor to silence the baby noises.

All the characters were stripped back – there were no costumes and no set this was all about the sounds, symbolism and of course the acting. Poppy Miller who played Lady Macbeth was fantastic, I found myself waiting for her to come back onto the stage to continue with her portrayal of the lady.

Ferdy Roberts, who played Macbeth and was also the artistic director, played the character superbly. He was intense, dramatic with ounces of humour coming through in a very subtle way. He could not of portrayed his gradual decline from hero to villain any better than what he did.

A great take on this classic play – I thoroughly enjoyed it and give it 3.5/5, I do feel that this production is a nice way to ease into such a tragic psychological play especially for those who may not have seen Macbeth before.

Rating: 3.5/5

Tickets cost from £14.50 to £24.

Macbeth is at Northern Stage in Newcastle until 14 March 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0191 230 5151.

Northern Stage, Barras Bridge,Newcastle Upon Tyne,Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RH

3 half Star

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