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Review: Macbeth at The Lowry is ‘an innovate retelling of classic Shakespeare’

Macbeth: Imitating the Dog brings a modern Gotham vibe to to the Shakespearean classic, Macbeth.

A bold new retelling of the iconic Shakespearean play has launched at the Lowry this week.

The stage is set up with two cameras on either side of the stage, and three big screens that connect as one at the back of the stage.

There are also two smaller screens from the side which are showing the same thing as the back of the screen.

The show starts with Macbeth (Benjamin Westerby) and Lady Macbeth (Maia Tamrakar) on either side of the stage.

Tamrakar puts on eye makeup while Westerby drives around town.

The two smaller screens show what the cameras are showing which are the Macbeths.

The Three Witches are played by Laura Atherton, Stefan Chnyaem and Matt Prendergast.

They also play thugs throughout the story. They have Joker-style makeup on and they say as much.

If you have ever played any of Rocksteady’s Arkham games, you would understand the concept and aura of the play.

This is not your typical Shakespeare play. Just like the 97 adaptation of Romeo + Juliet, it has a very modern twist to it.

The cameras added an almost documentary element to the play. The Three. Witches move the cameras around and follow our main characters around while they narrate the play.

They explain it to the people who do not understand the play or Shakespeare.

It is a nice twist. It is an idea that plays out rather well. The whole play gave me a very Matt Reeves Batman vibe and I loved it.

From the Joker-style make-up that the Witches are wearing to the crime families element.

With the cast being made up of five people, it is hard to choose just one as it is easy to see them all shine throughout the play.

The Three Witches were incredible. They move around the stage
as one and change scenes very smoothly.

It is just them on as stagehands and they do a great job of it. I think it helped that there were also playing characters as they were always on stage.

It is a brilliant way to make the most of such a small cast. Benjamin Westerby brings a rustic, 90’s, crime gangster version of Macbeth.

It works within the setting and he does a terrific job at capturing the moments of sadness and frustration that Macbeth feels throughout. Maia Tamrakar brought tears and psychotic energy to Lady Macbeth.

Again, Arkham feels. She reminded me of Harley Quinn and her progression into the love-crazed villain. It was enchanting to see as we haven’t got that story of Harley or of a young female villain and her evolution into that identity.

Overall, a fantastic and different take on a classic Shakespearean play which has both fans and non-fans alike thoroughly enjoying the experience.

You can get tickets by clicking here.

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