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DD140901 is a newspaper review of the Greenwich Macbeth by Milton Shulman from The Evening Standard on 18th February 1971.



at the new Macbeth

IN THESE days when the
Bard has become almost a
monopoly of the large, expert
companies of the National
Theatre and the Royal
Shakespeare, it is certainly
courageous of the Greenwich
Theatre to atempt a produc-
tion of Macbeth.
  Perhaps even more courageous
is their decision to ask the
national Press to assess such a
production considering that
critics are bound to compare it
with the best Shakespearean
companies in the world.
  At this point, alas, courage
comes close to foolhardiness.
For Ewan Hooper's production,
even in its best moments, is little
better than minor provincial
  A cast not particularly
equipped for getting the best out
of the Bard's lines has not been
helped by a production which
seems to be aimed at playing
Macbeth cool and contemporary
  The evil is subdued; the blood
discreet; the supernatural casual.
Macbeth does not sup full with
horror but merely tastes it as a
kind of Scottish hors d'oeuvre.
  Alan Dobie is so introspective
and sotto voce in the early
scenes that when he soliloquises:
"Is this a dagger I see before
me?" he might have been
standing in front of a bar ask-
ing "Is this a lager I see before
  He whips himself up into a
more suitable frenzy in the
martial moments at the tail end
of the play and spoke "To-
morrow and tomorrow and to-
morrow" with a striking note
of intelligent irony.
  Miss Romy Baskerville has
the statuesque figure and
classical features for a formid-
able Lady Macbeth, but little
else. All the stomping and
clattering and stabbing in her
bleak castle seemed just too
vulgar and untidy for such an
ambitious hostess.


  I could never believe that
such a nice girl would really
want ever to be unsexed and
when she took her knives to
finish off Duncan's henchmen,
I thought for a moment she was
setting out to carve the turkey.
  Probably too subtle for its own
good, this production idea of
Ewan Hooper's needs far more
thought, far better actors and
more production facilities than
the Greenwich Theatre is likely
to provide. A more bloody, dark,
glowering and horrific Macbeth
would have been a safer bet.