Went to a brilliant play at the Swan in Stratford-on-Avon last Saturday. It completely confounded my expectations of it. It’s called Dunsinane and is billed as a sequel to Shakespeare’s Macbeth. I thought it was going to be as dour and tragic as that play. (Makes it sound as if I don’t like Macbeth, but I do, I do!)
However, although Dunsinane is sad, it’s also very funny, not in the slightly add-on way of the porter scene in Macbeth, but with a very natural believable sort of humour. The opening scene where the English captain instructs his army on how to be a forest – when Burnam Wood comes to Dunsinane – is very funny and brilliantly done.
The acting is excellent. Siobhan Redmond as Gruach (Lady Macbeth didn’t actually die, as Shakespeare led us to believe!) is wonderful, as is Jonny Phillips playing Siward, and the actor who plays Malcolm (can’t remember name) is amazing.
There is also a very serious thread running through it, with lots of resonances with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Siward says ‘I did what I believed what right’, it could be Tony Blair up on the stage.
All in all, a great experience!
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