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Assembly Roxy

The play is a tragedy written around 1606 by William Shakespeare and it is one of his most famous works. It describes the rise of the royal commander Macbeth to become the King of Scotland by murdering the former ruler with the help of his wife, his transformation into a tyrant and his fall. In his drama Shakespeare linked historical facts about the historic Scottish King Macbeth and the contemporary English King James I.

The Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group (EGTG) presents a modern-dress production of the Scottish play. With the help of a passionate cast and crew the director Naomi Wallis-Ryder created a two hour and a half long tragedy full of greed, insanity and righteousness.

The EGTG which is a respected amateur company has been putting on theatre productions for over 60 years now. The productions they put on stage around four times a year are a mix of contemporary and classic plays.

What makes this version of Macbeth different to many other productions is that Naomi Wallis-Ryder with the help of Assistant Director and Stage Manger Staci Shaw aimed to not only create a “nightmarish world for audiences” but also to portray Lady Macbeth’s character differently from most other interpretations. The most popular and most used interpretation of Lady Macbeth is quite cruel. It portrays her as the leading force in the evil deed who sways the loyal Macbeth to kill Duncan. However, after being told of the prophecy by the three witches Macbeth himself has ambitious thoughts of becoming king even before talking to his wife. Wallis-Ryder finds it to be a pas de deux, “a loving couple who know each other so well that they can come to the same conclusion without discussion.” They are both equally responsible for murdering Duncan. The actors implement the characters according to this interpretation of the story.

Jaques Kerr who plays Macbeth has a very strong stage presence filling the room with his anger and madness. His changes from a righteous character are very sensibly done. The transformation of Lady Macbeth, played by Rhiannon King, is almost the other way around. Her initial power-hungry and determined personality turns into a nervous and worried individual which was something quite feminine and it was beautiful to look at. In the end she is absolutely horrified. Their performances were fantastic as well as the rest of the ensemble.

The costumes were basic and the stage was quite empty since there were not many props but all the actors brought the scenery as much alive as possible and they were all deliberate in staying in character at every moment.

My friend and I enjoyed the play a lot and we especially loved the fact that every actor had a Scottish accent which you expect when you watch the tragedy of the King of Scots.

If you have not had the chance to watch Macbeth so far do not miss this performance. Give yourself the opportunity to spend an evening in Shakespeare’s world.

Anais Andresen

23rd – 26th May




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