I originally booked the Young Vic’s production of Macbeth months ago, before I realised it was a dance-theatre piece, so I have to admit I was slightly apprehensive as I took my seat. As it turned out, though, the dance wasn’t really an issue.
Lizzie Clachan’s stark set plays with perspective, and there are plenty of hidden doors for characters to escape into. The dancing, rather than being a constant part of the show, is intermittent: the scene at the Macbeths’ house, for instance, where the characters all get their groove on. Lucy Guerin’s choreography is used to greatest effect with the witches: though they wear some rather dubious flesh-coloured leotards, their jerky movements are unsettling and effectively evoke their otherworldliness.
As far as the rest of the production was concerned, I didn’t love it. John Heffernan is an incredibly well-spoken Macbeth, but I wasn’t entirely convinced by him. Anna Maxwell Martin, so good on screen, seemed lost here. The whole production struck me as rather bloodless – figuratively as well as literally – and I wasn’t especially engaged by it. Macduff, in particular, seemed hardly to respond at all when told that his entire family had just been murdered.
I have to admit I was disappointed by this production, not least because it was directed by Carrie Cracknell, who did such a good job on A Doll’s House a few years ago. Still, you can’t win them all I suppose!