All about Macbeth

I love Macbeth.

Yes, I know it’s almost a cliche. I also love Hamlet and loathe Romeo and Juliet.

I first studied the play in Year 10; we watched the Polanski/Finch/Annis version, which is why every Lady Macbeth will forever be compared to Francesca Annis for me, because she was breathtaking. Since then (lo these many years), I’ve seen it performed at least once by Bell Shakespeare – although their production list suggests I may have seen it twice, but 2007 is a long, long time ago. I saw it performed at least once at uni: it was done in the round, and the conceit was to have the characters all dressed as punks. And I mean stereotypical punks: spiked hair, rings, spiked leather jackets, the works. I was blown away by it at the time. I also feel like I must have seen it done another time at uni – it’s such an obvious play for that context. Anyway, there’s also been two film versions that got enough advertising that I saw them: the Australian – Melbourne, in fact – ganglands version which was amazing, and the Fassbender/Cotillard version that I was pretty disappointed by.

And now, of course, there’s a new version. With Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand. Which I am very excited by. So here’s the plan: to watch this version and then, over the next couple of months, watch the other versions as well. Just to see what happens.

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