This production marked the opening of the new Trafalgar Studios and the inaugural Trafalgar Transformed season. Jamie Lloyd chose to set his production in a post-apocalyptic Scotland destroyed by both War and climate change. Having previously appeared in a Shakespeare re-told episode for the BBC as ambitious chef Joe Macbeth Hollywood star James McAvoy took on the lead role of Macbeth. The production had an eerie, sinister feel and presented a violent future Scotland that had reverted to primitive tribalism.
This production was performed in the round with a number of audience members seated on the stage. Audience members were given rain macs to protect their clothes from this Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedy fully realised in this production, at one point it even rained blood. Soutra Gilmour’s design suggested modern day but had a squalid, grungy feel. The colour palette was drab and the costumes were heavily soiled. The witches were masked by rubber gas masks while the murderers wore a pigs head and Mekon mask. The design which referenced Mad Max had an industrial feel like a ruined factory and included a dirty toilet (which Macbeth vomited into before murdering Duncan) and a ceiling of broken glass.
Although the action was transferred to a future post apocalyptic setting Jamie Lloyd kept Shakespeare’s original poetic language.
Jamie Lloyd’s thrilling, visceral production suggested a post-independence Scotland that had fallen into disrepair. The production also hinted that the Macbeth’s murderous ambition is the result of trying to fill the void left by their lost child.
Cast and Creative
Macbeth James McAvoy
Lady Macbeth Claire Foy
Macduff Jamie Ballard
Banquo Forbes Masson
Malcom Mark Quartley
Witch/Murderer/Lady Macduff Allison McKenzie
Witch/Captain/Murderer/Gentlewoman Olivia Morgan
Witch/Seyton Lisa Gardner
Donalbane/ Fleance Graeme Dalling
Lennox Kevin Guthrie
Ross Richard Hansell
Caithness Catherine Murray
Angus Callum O’Neil
Duncan/Doctor Hugh Ross
Director Jamie Lloyd
Design Soutra Gilmour
Music and Sound Alex Baranowski
Voice and Text Barbara Houseman
Lighting Designer Adam Silverman
Fight Director Kate Waters
Movement Director Ann Yee
Associate Director Ed Stambollouian
Costume Supervisor Anna Josephs
Charles Spencer “there is no doubt that Lloyd’s production, set in a post-apocalyptic Scotland which has been laid waste by war and climate change, packs a powerful punch. The cast are dressed in bedraggled clothes that look like rejects from the Oxfam shop, while the Macbeths’ castle, with an on stage lavatory into which Macbeth pukes violently before killing Duncan, is more squalid that a student flat during the Edinburgh Fringe.”