Book Close
Close Close
I'd like to book a
Join QT Club

Macbeth x Melbourne Theatre Company

words by niall roeder

A drum, a drum! Macbeth doth come to Melbourne! Take one of The Bard’s greatest plays and throw in some Die Hard action and that Aussie bloke from Suicide Squad, and you’ve got yourself a modern day shout-out to Macbeth by Simon Phillips and the Melbourne Theatre Company.

Like any good action flick, this contemporary adaptation of a Shakespeare classic is lively and in your face – there’s a lot going on. This is the second time Phillips has joined forces with the oldest professional theatre company in Australia to produce Macbeth, and he’s clearly having a little fun with it.

Swords are exchanged for assault rifles and assassins for ice-addicts. Far from cauldrons, the wayward Sisters carry smartphones and preside around a bus stop. In an age where the gaming industry has overtaken Hollywood, this is a Shakespearean shoot-em-up – a multiplayer tragedy between the monarch and paranormal rebels.

Alas, with every reimagining there will be criticism. Despite claiming, “at his best, Phillips is clever and brilliantly insightful”, Chris Boyd from the Australian jabs the acting of lead, Jai Courtney (Suicide Squad, Jack Reacher). And Cameron Woodhead from Sydney Morning Herald remarks, “the production feels more like an action movie with supernatural themes than one of theatre’s great tragedies”.

But… what’s done, is done. You can’t please them all and although valid opinions, this shouldn’t deter those flirting with the idea of a night at the theatre.

Phillips’s Macbeth 2.0 is bloody, bold, and resolute. This action-packed version isn’t going to completely satisfy all Shakespeare fans, but it might gain some new ones.

Macbeth by the Melbourne Theatre Company is showing at Southbank Theatre until July 15, 2017.

QT Social

Feeling a little social? Follow QT Follow QT
Powered by PGR

We hate to play favourites, but some of our guests are lavished with even more special attention than usual. Want to know what you’re missing out on?

Join The QT Club right now – we’ll keep it just between us.

Enter your details