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Holden Street Theatres
Until 19 Feb 2017

Review by Fran Edwards

“Macbeth” is a play about power and the need/ambition for that power. If you are going to translate it into the modern era, politics is the obvious place to put it. This version has been set in Perth WA, perhaps because WA is the closest we could get to a separate state (they do seem cut off sometimes), but – whatever the reason – the placement works well. The set is well-planned: the bedroom of an apartment in a well-heeled suburb, just right for this action, with enough room on the sides for any outside action.

There are only two people on stage: Paul Macbeth, member for Cannington, played superbly by Greg Fleet; and his wife, Lainey Macbeth – Nicola Bartlett is fascinating in this role. Others appear in the projection and ‘news footage’ on the screen at the back. The representatives of other politicians and of course the ‘weird sisters’ – although the number seems to vary; at times there were five.

The cleverly-written script uses much of the dialogue from Macbeth, interspersed with modern political talk and language. The occasional humour comes from the ironical placement of lines. However, the characters are true to the original and the passion is strong. In particular Lainey Macbeth’s decent into madness via drugs and pills gives the audience chills.

If you are a Shakespeare fan (or just a “Macbeth” fan) you should not miss this performance.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)