British Black and Asian Shakespeare Performance Database
Macbeth (2001): Ludlow Castle Open Air Theatre
This production was presented as part of the Ludlow Festival and ran from 23 June - 8 July 2001, according to Theatre Record.
"At its best, James Roose-Evans' Macbeth is the most sensitively spoken Ludlow Festival production for several years. The control and resonance of much of the verse delivery, in the face of daunting acoustics, enables the play's poetry to breathe....Bruni Santini's charcoal-grey set is more reminiscent of the Lubyanka than of 11th century Scotland. The effect is a ruthless concentration of action in a world of monochromatic architectural brutalism, imposed upon rather than exploiting Ludlow Castle's range of potential levels and contours....Among the production's most provcative insights is its casting of three black male actors, Rex Obano, Tas Emiabata and David Case, as the three witches. This is Roose-Evans at his cross-cultural best. The ethos of Caribbean voodoo blends effortlessly into the world of Nordic witchcraft, finely ritualised and choreographed." ~ Ian Bare, The Stage, 28 June 2001
"Roose Evans also has a bold and effective stab at solving the problem of the witches. Here, the secret black and midnight hags are three very tall, very still and authoritative, shaven-headed black men, cowled in black robes. In a sinister black magic ceremony, accompanied by masked acolytes, they chuck the liver of blaspheming Jew, eye of newt and the rest of the grisly recipe for conjuring up spooks into a steaming pot. If they could only sound as scary, they would be terrifying. Alas, too many of the cast are more concerned with ironing out their accents into rather strained RP than with the words." ~ Georgina Brown, Mail on Sunday, 1 July 2001 in Theatre Record 2001, Issue 13
"The witches - not weird sisters here, but handsome black men of disconcerting authority and stillness - also double as Macbeth's hired assassins, increasing the sense that Macbeth has indeed intimately bound himself to the forces of darkness." ~ Charles Spencer, "The Scottish play chills the Welsh borders", Daily Telegraph, 27 June 2001
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