Review: ‘Macbeth’ at the Globe

By Evie Ward

In September 2023, I watched a production of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ at the Globe Theatre. In this article I will be letting you know my opinions of the production and where I feel they could have been improved. 

The play Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare in 1606, is a classic tragedy known all across the world. At the recent showing at the Globe theatre, they added in some modern adaptations to the original story line, for example swapping  genders for characters such as Ross. The director Abigail Graham made the witches not weird sisters, but a trio of sinister brothers wearing full hazmat suits and birds-of-prey masks. Personally, I enjoyed this modern adaptation as it did not tie down particular roles to specific genders. I also thought that the trio of mischievous brothers were humorous as they interacted with each other and the audience very well. 

Another reason that one may go and see this play is simply for the experience of being at the Globe Theatre. The Globe Theatre was built in 1598 and is truly an amazing historical building. The atmosphere there is one of a kind, and it is fantastic to be able to watch a play on a stage inspired by the design in Shakespeare’s context.

Although there were positives to the play such as this modern adaptation and the humorous way some of the lines were portrayed, many people, including myself were disappointed by the play. 

For me, the set design was too basic for such a dramatic play. The only prop apparent to the audience was a large symbolic branch. Although this was an interesting and thought provoking piece of set, I felt like there should have been more pieces on stage, and set adjustments could have been incorporated at various times. 

Another criticism of the play was the choice of actors. A lot of reviews state that Max Bennet, who played Macbeth, was a rather dull choice. One source from the website ‘Time Out’ said ‘Max Bennett’s bland Macbeth lets down this atmospheric production of Shakespeare’s tragedy’. Although Bennett undoubtedly gave a good performance of Macbeth, it wasn’t great due to his lack of energy during certain lines and scenes that required the utmost effort. Caitlin Rattan in Year 11 stated: ‘it was an intriguing performance, but for me, I would have preferred to watch it after having studied the play.’

In conclusion, although this was a thought provoking and interesting production, I would not recommend it too highly due to its uninteresting set design and the underwhelming performance from Max Bennett.

Posted in Arts & Culture, News.