Macbeth (1996): New Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent
PRINCIPAL CAST: Steven Granville (Duncan); Shelly Willetts (Lady Macbeth); Keith Woodason (Banquo); Philip Wright (Macduff); Edward York (Macbeth).
The first performance of this production took place on 7 February 1996.
"Rob Swain's production of the Scottish play...could be called Macbeth - The Second Generation, its setting and effects indicating a hi-tech future in which anarchy is rife. The brilliantly orchestrated light and sound threatens to swamp the text, but are responsible for some highly dramatic moments. On a metal grid, actors perform, dressed as a strange mixture of bikers and station porters. Meanwhile, the prized throne stands in the corner, looking suspiciously like a dentist's chair. Except for an occasional scene, eg Macduff and Malcolm, the production moves at a splendid pace with many exciting moments, none more so than the thrilling fight between Macduff (Philip Wright) and Macbeth (Edward York). York carefully gauges the transition from noble thane to throwaway callous villain, though his overall speech delivery needs to marry sense and sound better. This is true of others in the cast...Exceptions are Banquo (Keith Woodason), Lennox (Richard Hague) [sic] and Lady Macbeth (Shelly Willetts), whose volatile power brings welcome variety, despite the lack of Macbeth's famous letter as a dramatic launching pad. A fascinating interpretation, leaving me more shaken than stirred." ~ John Fox, The Stage, 29 February 1996