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Samantha Bond and Sean Bean starred in Edward Hall's production of Macbeth, which opened in the west end's Albery theatre on November 14th 2002.

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Introduction

Non-fictional writing Macbeth Samantha Bond and Sean Bean starred in Edward Hall's production of Macbeth, which opened in the west end's Albery theatre on November 14th 2002. I suppose it was unfair to the cast of Macbeth, but I was rather wary of the production, I expected little more than a competent performance from well-known actors who were trying to create a more 'serious' image and re-launch their careers. I found it difficult to envisage Sean Bean, a James Bond and Lord of the Rings veteran, playing convincingly the torn and unpredictable Macbeth. I, therefore, entered the theatre with what I hoped to be insufficient expectation. I wondered as to the ability of Sean Bean's acting, viewing him more as a box office draw than as a serious Shakespearean actor. My doubts were confirmed as Bean strode around the stage in a leather coat, unshaven and barking in his flat Yorkshire accent the great words of one of Shakespeare's more established plays. ...read more.

Middle

Samantha Bond commanded the stage with ease and spoke the words as if they were her own. She appeared totally comfortable as Lady Macbeth and added some much needed realism to the play. She managed to slip easily between the role of powerful wife and vulnerable hostess. She acted as if she were in a team, allowing Shakespeare's words centre stage in a way Sean Bean was ill equipped to do. Edward Hall's ideas for the production are, at times, questionable. His reasons for casting Sean Bean, Julian Glover and Adrian Schiller in roles they seemed to find impenetrable were left a mystery. Julian Glover (Duncan) found it difficult to differentiate between goodness and dullness. His attempt at saintly kindness left the audience bored by his substance less performance. He was unable to play either of his roles convincingly, his time as the porter made the audience cringe at his Glaswegian accent and un-humorous attempt at the speech. ...read more.

Conclusion

Kay gave a haunting edge to an otherwise mediocre performance, his face covered in blood and his eyes following Macbeth. Samantha Bond appears the weary hostess and the other actors all portray the uncomfortable atmosphere perfectly this is spoiled, once again, by Sean Bean. There seemed a surprisingly small amount of focus on the witches' words, which were glossed over using music and singing. All three were dressed in evening dress, just as Lady Macbeth was. The witches were portrayed not as ugly hags but as beautiful young women, which was a refreshing change from the usual stereotyped versions seen in Royal Shakespeare Company and Roman Polanski films. The way the play was presented was well thought out if poorly executed. They way Edward Hall interprets it as a love story as well as a horror story is refreshing, Samantha Bond confirms herself as both an excellent modern but also classical actress, Barnaby Kay shows himself to be an able and competent actor and Sean Bean proves that not all actors have the capacity to do Macbeth justice. ...read more.

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