Macbeth by William Shakespeare at St George's Theatre
NORTH WEST London is lucky to have the St George's Theatre, 1 cannot think of another venue more suitable for the presentation of Macbeth. I have seen many Macbeths, some excellent, some, such as Michael Redgrave's, disastrous, and it is doubtful whether I will particularly remember this production. It is neither brilliant or disastrous but in a way it is better for it is professional throughout and good.
Performance and direction are straightforward and allow Shakespeare's words to do their work. Perhaps one misses the bard's poetry a little, but that is preferably to having it intoned. Macbeth is an actor's play: it is not easy to stage melodrama, and Macbeth is nearly that. It could easily lead to laughter, but despite liberal use of tomato ketchup or its equivalent the audience is never tempted to laugh.
The performance are matter of fact and without histrionics, although Alex Scott as Macbeth is less at ease when he is faced with the supernatural. The best delivery of a line was by Macduff (Ralph Watson) when in his revenge he says of Macbeth "He has no children".
The masks of the witches, a cross between a Morris dancer's outfit and a Greek classical mask, are an excellent idea but the sign of the crescent moon on the ceiling of the stage escaped me.