Play of the week: Macbeth, Tramway, Glasgow


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The Independent Culture

The sprawling tragedy of Macbeth becomes one man's psychotic episode as Alan Cumming takes on every role and plays out the action as a hallucinatory monologue.

The National Theatre of Scotland's production is a bold, some might say bonkers undertaking. Cumming uses accents and props to differentiate characters.

Lady Macbeth first appears from under the bath water, then uses her erotic powers to seduce Macbeth into murder; to become the witches, Cumming has his back to the audience, who see a close-up of his manic face in large screens above the stage.

CCTV is used to add a spooky layer and create a sense of observed distance. Directing, Andrew Goldberg and John Tiffany deploy a soundscape of hospital white noise and Max Richter to pace the action.

With Cumming spitting fire as a witch, squeezing filth and fury from Lady Macbeth's great speeches, and finally becoming a pitiful shadow, this production disturbs and moves.

(0845 330 3501; to 30 Jun