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Lady M – His Fiend-Like Queen?

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
4 stars


Don’t be fooled by the brevity of Theatre Jezebel’s new version of
Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedy. Mary McCluskey’s adaptation may be an
hour long, but by putting the play’s most fascinating character at its
centre on Kenny Miller’s expansively handsome set of upended gold leaf
chairs topped by weather-beaten parasols in the mirrored gloom of a
leaf-strewn courtyard, it’s as panoramic as it’s ever been. With the
Weird Sisters top and tailing the play in black veils masking a
blood-red satanic pallor as they become both chorus and every other
character save the two leads, by the end it becomes clear too exactly
who is pulling the strings.

Before all that, Lesley Hart’s Lady M grows increasingly neurotic as
power seems to first fall into her lap before the rough and tumble of
fulfilling imagined prophecies becomes increasingly addictive. With
Michael Moreland’s Macbeth tugged every which way, both by his wife’s
newly discovered aspirations and the Sisters, McCluskey’s own
production becomes one of the most spectrally inclined Shakespeares in
recent years.

This effect is heightened even more by Ross Brown’s shimmeringly
atmospheric soundscape, which underscores proceedings like a BBC
Radiophonic Workshop interpretation of Stockhausen. The monochrome
slabs of Kate Bonney’s lighting design completes a picture of corrupted
glamour and other-worldly menace that suggest even more powerful forces
than fate are at work.

Once Lady M is out of the picture, that’s when things look set to get
really interesting, which the Sisters realigned ‘When will we three
meet again?’ exchange points to. When they peer through their veils
directly at the audience, you know they’ve a few more tricks up their
sleeves yet.

The Herald, April 30th 2012

ends
 

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