Theatre Review: Macbeth @ The National Theatre
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Rufus Norris is back in the Olivier Theatre with one of Shakespeare's most popular plays and while it is quite the spectacle unfortunately it doesn't live up to expectations. Set in a bizarre wasteland during an unknown era the stylisation of the piece is undeniably fantastic. Nothing has been spared in making the huge space feel violent and jarring with the incredible set design taking over the Olivier theatre. The world has been ravaged by war but the how and why of this evades us and is never made clear. It is an interesting take on a classic piece and I applaud the attempt to try something new. Rory Kinnear's Macbeth runs onto the stage at the start of the show with a lack of enthusiasm that continues throughout. Kinnear, known to be a fine Shakespearean actor, fails to deliver. He takes time to warm into the role, finally settling into it towards the end of the first act by which time it is too little too late. During the second act he does, finally, seem to delight in the words he is saying, making it easier to enjoy his performance. However, the rhythm of the language is lost. The famous "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" speech is cut up in a bizarre way that completely loses the tempo and fire behind the poetic words. Kinnear finds the soldier in Macbeth with ease, but the guilt-ridden shell of a man Macbeth goes on to become is lost.
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