"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes..."
Victorious from a bloody battle the triumphant Macbeth is greeted by the three weird sisters. Inspired and driven by their incredible prophecies he sets out on the path to conquer all. A story of ambition, leadership and belief.
Our stomping 2020 production of Shakespeare’s supernatural and bloody Macbeth returns to the stage in this epic ensemble production and features as the second production in our fourth season at Greenwich Theatre.
Tue – Sat at 7.30pm,
Tue, Thu and Sat matinee at 2.30pmVenue The Greenwich Theatre
Age recommendation 12+
★★★★ “A fiercely modern Macbeth…This is a thrilling and powerful Macbeth
full of invention and innovation”
Claire Roderick, Fairy Powered Pro
In response to the decline in arts participation and in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the Greenwich
Theatre we shall be offering 50 tickets at each performance for just a £5 to
patrons aged 16–26.
Use the code "50@FIVER" in the checkout when booking online and collect your tickets with proof of age from the box office on the night you’re seeing the show. (Available on £10 tickets, maximum of two tickets per transaction.)
Terri Paddock is a theatre journalist, event producer and content and social media marketing strategist with over 20 years’ experience. Terri will be returning to chair the discussions.
Macbeth Post Show Q&A; tbc
Venue Greenwich Theatre
Tickets are free to all ticket holders for that evenings performance.
★★★★ “A stunning and accessible version… Pure inventiveness…
A visionary look at staging classic work”
Stephen Vowles, Boyz Magazine
Written by William
Adapted, Directed and Designed by Ricky Dukes
Lighting Design by Alex Musgrave
Sound Design by Phil Matejtschuk
Costume by Sorcha Corcoran
Dramaturge – Sophie Duntley
Stage Manager – TBC
Assistant Director – TBC
Movement Captain – TBC
Company Photographer – Adam Trigg
Production Graphic Designer – Bobby Bowyer
Producer – Gavin Harrington-Odedra
★★★★ “Lazarus has once again delivered a new take on an old classic”
Terry Eastham, Last Minute Theatre
There is so much to be discovered about Shakespeare’s Macbeth that when it came time to choose a topic for this note, this Dramaturge was spoilt for choice. From the history of witchcraft to the arrangement of tables during a royal banquet to the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as it evolves throughout the play, the elements to be explored are endless. Ultimately, I have decided to use this note to draw a connection between previous productions of the play—productions during the Elizabethan era—and the production you are about to see.
Though there are many ways to connect the play’s past with its present, in my investigation, I became intrigued by the senses, most significantly visual, aural, and olfactory. The senses are well represented in the language of this play (Lady Macbeth’s “Here’s the smell of the blood still” is a good example). But what about the senses of the play’s first audiences? What were they seeing, hearing, and smelling? Were there elements other than the text influencing their experiences of the play?
Research reveals that productions of Shakespeare’s plays did, at least in some cases, include the use of pyrotechnics. These were particularly useful for scenes where Shakespeare describes storms or thunder and lightning, and satisfy the auditory and visual components of sensory impact. The explosions were loud and could produce sparks or smoke. One type of pyrotechnic was the squib, which according to Jonathan Gil Harris, “combined foul-smelling ingredients—sulfurous brimstone, coal, and saltpeter—that reeked all the more when detonated.” Whenever these squibs were used, Elizabethan audiences would’ve smelled sulfur; and despite the open-air atmospheres of theatres like the Globe, the smell could linger through several scenes.
Now to tie the past and the present together. It is interesting to compare the technical effects used in the early modern era to those used today and evaluate how their differences might affect audience response. Squibs and other gunpowder effects might’ve created fog or smoke that took time to dissipate—these have been replaced by our modern haze and fog machines (though these do not smell of sulfur). Loud explosions can be replicated with practical effects or pre-recorded sounds. Visual interest can be created with lights and projections. Similar moods and tones can be achieved through different means while still having varied sensory results.
No matter the era, the sensory input received during a play impacts the viewer’s experience. I encourage you, as modern viewers of this classical work, to notice how things like fog, thunder, and even music, affect your senses. Perhaps you will find fascination in how the things you see, hear, and smell elevate the text and influence your experience.
Blood, smoke and sweat. Sensory Macbeth.
★★★★ “Lazarus Theatre’s ensemble-based take on Macbeth at Greenwich Theatre proves thrilling in its stylish directorial vision… It’s a bold resetting”
There Ought to be Clowns