“Seeing Macbeth unfold deep in the Redcliffe Caves was a compelling and moving experience which made the play come alive in all its brilliant madness and poetry”
[Images by Graham Burke]
Sometimes a performance space and a company come together and create something special. Insane Root Theatre’s spell-binding Macbeth, directed by Hannah Drake and produced by Justin Palmer, was one of those times.
The play’s run deservedly sold out and created a buzz as part of the 2015 Bristol Shakespeare Festival.
Insane Root was only formed in 2014, so it was especially exciting to see such a new theatre company deliver this thought-provoking and mature interpretation of the play.
Right from the start, the energy in the caves was electrifying, as Macbeth (Ben Crispin) and Banquo (Zachary Powell) conveyed the frenetic atmosphere of a war-torn Scotland.
The witches caused many audience members to shriek; their unnerving appearance enhanced by their guttural and distorted speech.
The contradictory nature of Macbeth’s relationship with Lady Macbeth (Nicola Stuart-Hill) was vividly portrayed.
Lady Macbeth was the perfect balance of ferocious and fragile.
Many of the cast doubled in other roles with Lorna Jinks, James D Kent and Elliot Chapman completing a line-up who never once let the intensity of their performance waver.
These final scenes really embodied our attraction to power, and our fascination with madness.
The lighting design from Edmund McKay meant flickering shadows, candles and strategic spotlights maintained the slightly surreal, yet intimate, atmosphere throughout.
Redcliffe Caves, situated at the heart of the old docklands, are an interesting part of Bristol’s history, and they have attracted their own body of folklore.
Walking through the caves as part of Macbeth was a truly unique experience.
As we stepped back into the warm Bristol night, we felt deeply moved by the heady and beautiful performance.