Just over two weeks ago, I had the pleasure to attend an evening production of Macbeth at the Globe Theatre in London, courtesy of the Young Reporter Scheme. The scheme aims to provide opportunities for all participants through the widespread relations and efforts. I was able to attend the show, not only great to review, but fascinating to compare with concepts learnt about the play in the GCSE environment.

Of course, the 21st century production of Macbeth is far different to how it would have been in 1606, a pseudo-modern style featuring comedy altered for the newer young audience, and a very amusing golf cart entrance for King Duncan in the play. This production style is more engaging for the younger audience, cleverly drawing them in at every moment through not only the light-hearted aspects, but the core acting and drama that drives the Shakespearean fantasy.

This ties to the structure of the Globe theatre itself, fascinating, particularly in its entrance. Completely unorthodox compared to the typical west-end theatre, the Globe boasts an unseen open-air structure, with wooden benches on three vertical levels surrounding the stage and a wide standing area which comes with its more interactive experience as characters roam. This open, airy structure draws the audience back into the 17th century and allows the actors to deliver as close to how Shakespeare intended, also utilising the two famous pillars protruding through the stage which would initially seem obstructive.

The play itself focuses heavily on dark themes, from mental health to conscience and guilt, allowing for visceral and striking performances by the actors on and even off-stage in the crowd. Even with the archaic language used in the play, commonly disregarded as too complicated and incomprehensible, the mere delivery and physical communication with the lines provides obvious meaning and thoughts of characters that aren’t so easily understood through reading the play. This is also paired with symbolism on stage, with flags representing King Duncan’s reign being ripped down one by one and replaced with Macbeth’s along the course of the play, and Lady Macbeth’s appearance becoming more dishevelled and rawer as the story progresses.

As a whole, the experience is fascinating and unique, unlike any other feature show in London. I would undoubtedly recommend this to anyone looking for something interesting to do in the city, whether you have background knowledge of Shakespeare and his plays or not. The bare bones style with no mics or fancy lighting stays extremely similar to how Shakespeare first intended for the Jacobean audience, and for this to still be available in this day should be taken advantage of and witnessed by all.

A massive thanks to the Young Reporter Scheme for this experience and opportunity.

By Derin Burke.