Macbeth (1995): Everyman Theatre, Liverpool
PRINCIPAL CAST: Robert Beach (Macduff); Jane Hollowood (Lady Macbeth); Gary Olsen (Macbeth); Tony Turner (Banquo).
This production ran from 28 September - 28 October 1995
"Peter Rowe's production aims to bring Macbeth into the 1990s, seeing the tribalism of medieval Scottish myth reflected in the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and northern Ireland. Modern military fatigues and flak jackets were the trademark of Bogdanov's English Shakespeare Company a decade ago but the point is still valid. Ellen Cairns's setting, a bare skewed rake against a backdrop of blood-red poles, could be any field of conflict. It's a short-fused world where tempers run high - even the doctor in the sleep-walking scene finds irritation in his exchanges with the maid." ~ Robin Thornber, "Macbeth/Liverpool Everyman", Guardian, 4 October 1995
"Over in Liverpool you get Shakespeare with a different accent. This Mersey-beat Macbeth is stuffed full of local actors. The young witches look and sound like Scouse bag-ladies. At the centre is TV star Gary Olsen. This is his first Shakespearian role - and it shows. He is impressively physical but his monotone gruffness and finger-flexing never really suggest the character's hellish journey into evil....Peter Rowe's production - designed by Ellen Cairns with a blood-splattered auditorium and a stage forest of slanting red poles - is intelligent and off the wall (the modernistic 'video prophecies' are very creepy)...The English soldiers come on with blue helmets and the production is at pains to relate it all to Bosnia and beyond. ~ Robert Gore-Langton, "Pleasure lies in the North", Daily Telegraph, 13 October 1995