Macbeth Review

Leeds Playhouse – until 23 March 2024

Reviewed by Dawn Smallwood


The Leeds Playhouse brings back its successful production of Macbeth which was premiered in 2022. Under the direction of Amy Leach, the popular Shakespeare tragedy is about Macbeth pursuing power and rule that ultimately comes at a cost.

Macbeth is considered a dark and deep play which is taken in account with the contemporary staging, courtesy of Hayley Grindle. The staging compliments and aligns the moods and ambiance and this is complimented with the strobe and flashing lighting, designed by Chris Davey and Nicola T. Chang’s eerie soundscapes. The dramatic music, also Nicola T. Chang, is played intermittently and certainly contributes to the dark, isolated and supernatural atmosphere.

The Leeds Playhouse is reputed to create inclusive and accessible theatre with the notable feature of audio description and other aural features being integrated into Macbeth. This production includes members of the cast from the deaf and blind communities working alongside non-disabled actors.

The three witches (Katrina Allen, Karina Jones, Elkanah Wilder) open proceedings with a prophecy concerning the fate for Macbeth (Ash Hunter) where he is to rule under the influence of Lady Macbeth (Jessica Baglow), that leads to the tragic, destructive and blooded unravelling of the plot.

Excellent and dynamic portrayals from Hunter (as Macbeth), Baglow (as Lady Macbeth), Adam Bassett (as Macduff) and also performances from rest of the cast. The Leeds Playhouse’s Youth Company joins the cast with Josh Ndlovu and Kara Francis as Fleance and the child of the Macduffs, respectively.

Macbeth is a production that is well put together, and it is evident that a lot of thought and energy has been put with regards to performance and creation. It is a performance that one can be drawn to and relive what is happening with the themes including power, the supernatural, the journey of two-blood thirsty pursuiters, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, whose quests lead to tragic and revengeful consequences.

Macbeth is on at the Playhouse until the 23rd March 2024.