British Black and Asian Shakespeare Performance Database
Macbeth (1975): Young Vic Theatre
PRINCIPAL CAST: James Bolam (Macbeth II); Michael Graham Cox (Banquo); Derek Fowlds (Macbeth III); Alfred Lynch (Macbeth I, Macduff II); Joanna McCallum (Lady Macbeth I); Anthony May (Macduff I); Judy Wilson (Lady Macbeth II).
"Reviewing the opening, Irving Wardle complained that the three actors who shared the role and surreal mask of Macbeth were difficult to tell apart. In the present cast, one easily enough spots the different personalities beneath the gaping eyes and golden spiked crown; indeed the intelligence and thoughtfulness of Mr. [Alfred Lynch], who carries the part until Macbeth's coronation, make me wish that he would take us through to the apparition scene...What I fail to understand on Tuesday was why the roles of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Macduff were chopped up at all....What was perfectly clear, and gave the production its vividness, was that the whole story was dreamt up, or conjured up, by Hecate. Though Cleo Sylvestre invests the part with suburban gentility, lending no terror to the banal doggerel grafted on to the play from Middleton's The Withc, her dream is designed by Carl Toms to suggest something out of Bosch; and ther eis something appalling in the image of Mr. Lynch's Macbeth gliding inexorably along a great corridor to the killing of Duncan. Of course, Hecate's dream raises no question of free will, which diminishes the tragedy; and, by removal of a mask, we lose the irony of Michael Kitchin's [sic] doubling Macbeth, hirer of killers, and Third Murderer....It is a hopelessly half realized production; yet it contains just enough such images to make me glad that I saw it." ~ Charles Lewsen, "Macbeth, Young Vic", Times, 20 November 1975
"Wickedness, sin, witches, pagan rites and a great deal of abracadabra are going on at this moment at the Young Vic where Frank Dunlop's new production of Shakespeare's Macbeth is set in a Witches' Coven....Also restored are the Hecate scenes (played by Cleo Sylvestre) which are rarely performed. 'What interests me a great deal about Shakespeare is what he actually knew about witches,' says Dunlop." ~ "Bessie's boy and the witches", Evening Standard, 10 January 1975
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