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Kirsty Besterman and Michael Nardone – Macbeth

Michael Nardone and Kirsty Besterman were given the keys to the kingdom when they were cast as Lord and Lady Macbeth in Rufus Norris’ National Theatre production of Shakespeare’s Scottish play. Picking up the mantles of Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff, who played the murderously ambitious couple for the London run of Norris’ apocalyptic-looking production proved irresistible to both actors, who came to it with strong track records of doing classic plays onstage. In what sounds like a radical reinvention of Shakespeare’s play, the production’s dark mix of the personal and the political nevertheless cast a spell on them in a way where the flesh and blood everyday passions of the couple are brought home.
“I wanted to try and give Macbeth a real edge as an honest kind of man,” says Fife-born Nardone, who will be appearing on a Scottish stage for the first time in several years. “His relationship with the king is really important, and at the beginning of the play he knows his position and …
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Cicely Berry - An Obituary

Cicely Berry – Voice coach, theatre director
Born, May 17 1926; died October 15 2018.
Cicely Berry, who has died aged 92, revolutionised how actors use their voice onstage, aligning speech with a deep-rooted physicality that empowered it. This was particularly the case with tackling Shakespeare, whose poetry under Berry’s guidance came alive with a richness that focused on understanding the text from the gut as well as the mind.
Berry brought her integrated body-and-mind way of coaching for voice to the Royal Shakespeare Company, where for twelve years she was the sole member of a voice department created under then artistic director Trevor Nunn, who had drafted her into the company. During that time, she worked with Peter Brook on his 1970 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and struck up working friendships with noticeably visceral living writers such as David Rudkin, who she called her mentor, and Edward Bond. Like them, she recognised how words come to life when lifted off the …

Gagarin Way

Dundee Rep
Four stars


The sound of a computer modem whirring its clunky way into the global village at the start of Dundee Rep’s taut revival of Gregory Burke’s debut play may date its turn of the century setting to what now looks like more innocent times. Seen seventeen years on in a world where domestic terrorism and working-class disenfranchisement are both at a premium, the play’s 85-minutes of ideological cut and thrust now looks like a snapshot of a time that might just be the root of the mess we’re in now.

Burke’s play is set entirely on the loading bay of a Fife computer parts factory which by now one suspects will have either been turned into luxury loft apartments or else is about to be destroyed by Brexit. The perfect setting then for the potty-mouthed existentialist lit-crit between Ross Baxter’s security guard graduate Tom and Ewan Donald’s smart tough-guy nihilist Eddie. When Michael Moreland’s unreconstructed romantic leftie Gary turns up with Barrie Hunter’s kidnapped co…