Macbeths at the Hope Theatre
Based on Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy, David Fairs’ Macbeths focuses solely on the relationship between Lady Macbeth and her husband, whom she refers to only as Thane. Opening three years ago, the Hope Theatre is a 50-seat venue situated upstairs at the Hope & Anchor pub. The theatre has transferred two of its productions to the West End and prides itself on showcasing an array of performances that include classics as well as material from new and upcoming writers.
Fairs’ Macbeths uses all of Shakespeare’s original language, but the setting and the characters are brought into the present. Taking place solely in a bedroom with nothing save a chair and a table, the audience form a semi-circle around the two actors, framing part of the intimacy and the tumultuous nature of their relationship. Subtle music is added for dramatic effect, which works alongside the plain domestic interior, highlighting both the power of the language and the performances. Sarah Lambie as Lady Macbeth and David Fairs as Thane demonstrate their talent in an incredibly mature and polished performance, working exceedingly well together throughout, whether revealing their characters’ lust for one another, or screaming and fighting like many partners do.
For non-Shakespeare enthusiasts, the language can deem difficult and off-putting. But Fairs’ re-orchestration of the tragedy through the lens of Thane and Lady Macbeth demonstrates the power of relationships and how compelling the language and message become when told through the perspective of only two people in a setting that shows them in their most vulnerable state. Is love able to conquer all? Or do power, deceit, and bloodshed come at the forefront of defending one’s nation? Macbeths invites the audience to see that although many feelings and decisions are put into a relationship, sometimes it is at the expense of the other person.
Macbeths is on at the Hope Theatre from 26th July until 3rd August 2016, for further information or to book visit here.