Macbeth’s desire to gain power and keep it at all costs threatens to destroy a nation, replacing dignity and rules of law with guilt and paranoia.
In November 2011, Digital Theatre announced William Shakespeare’s Macbeth as its latest release available to watch online or download to the desktop. The Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse production starred David Morrissey in the title role and was directed by Gemma Bodinetz.
Digital Theatre Co-Founder/CEO Robert Delamere said: “We are delighted to be able to bring this production of Shakespeare’s play to a wider international audience and establish an exciting new partnership with Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. Macbeth enjoyed a sell-out run in Liverpool and we are thrilled to be able to bring this celebrated production to screens across the world.”
The Everyman was established in 1964 in what had originally been built as a chapel in 1834 in an area of Liverpool noted for its bohemian environment and political edge. In the decades since, the Everyman has attracted a succession of visionary directors, exciting writers, and bold young acting companies and in July 2011 the Everyman closed for a £28m redevelopment to create a New Everyman for everyone, ensuring a theatre fit for the 21st century and for future generations of actors, writers, directors and audiences.
Gemma Bodinetz’s production of Macbeth was the final production presented at the Everyman prior to its closure before its award-winning redevelopment.
CAST INCLUDES: Mark Arends, Richard Bremmer, Ken Bradshaw, Neil Caple, Matthew Flynn, Julia Ford, Gillian Kearney, Syrus Lowe, Gavin Marshall, Shaun Mason, Nathan McMullen, David Morrissey and Eileen O’Brien.
‘A drifting smoke, from no seen source, hazes the air. Francis O'Connor's concrete and rusted-metal set with dangling wires searing unexpected sparks into darkness, invokes a post-apocalyptic sci-fi cross between abandoned warehouse and battle-broken war room. In director Gemma Bodinetz's striking production, tinged with the sense of things intangible, Shakespeare's disturbing combination of warring soldiers and "weïrd sisters" becomes chillingly plausible. This plausibility brings vividly to life a plot that can sometimes strain credibility: Macbeth, incited by a witches' prophecy and the promptings of his ambitious wife, kills Scotland's king to win his crown; emboldened by further prophecies, he believes himself invincible but is finally killed in battle by a man "not born of woman.’
‘These were brutal times and to the most calculating and violent went the spoils. Demonstrating this so vividly is the great strength of Gemma Bodinetz's staging of Shakespeare's bloodcurdling exploration of ambition and conscience. Set in a timeless martial state, the atmosphere of chaos and encroaching warfare is brilliantly conjured through the soundtrack and lighting. A disconcerting flourish is the casting of a male in drag as one of the three witches.’
‘In the last production before the old Everyman theatre closes to be completely rebuilt and rise like a phoenix in 2013, artistic director Gemma Bodinetz delivers a Macbeth worthy of the name.
With a terrific cast led by David Morrissey as the bloodstained protagonist, this is a sturdy, lucid and terrifying production. The atmosphere conjured by Francis O’Connor’s set depicting a dank, decaying castle lit by sputtering industrial lamps, is palpably evil; the arrival of the three obscenely unpleasant witches sets the tone.
Morrissey moves from vacillating soldier to incarnadined villain with assurance, showing naked fear and paranoia as his murderous acts haunt him throughout. He is immeasurably supported by Julia Ford, bravely stepping in after the mysterious exit of the original Lady Macbeth, Jemma Redgrave, three weeks before first night.’