Christopher Eccleston makes his Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) debut alongside Niamh Cusack in this fast-paced and unnerving drama – ★★★★☆
The Scottish Play is the best production for Eccleston to perform in his first RSC outing. Known for playing larger than life characters before – most notably The Doctor in Doctor Who and Maurice in The A Word – the actor now takes on the role of the ill-fated king in this new version of Shakespeare’s classic.
His performance is a powerful one, and one which works perfectly alongside Cusack’s bold take on Lady Macbeth. Elsewhere, the three witches are played by three girls, chanting Shakespeare’s prose in eery, childish singsong. Throw in an overbearing countdown timer and Michael Hodgson’s performance as the creepy janitor (Porter) – who keeps a running tally of all the bloody deaths – and you have a production which masters both suspense and fast-paced action.
Macbeth is now playing at the Barbican Centre until 18 January 2019.