CITIZENS THEATRE ANNOUNCE ONLINE PREMIERE OF RADICAL TWO-PERSON STAGING OF MACBETH
The Citizens Theatre have announced details of their latest digital theatre experience. A new filmed version of their show The Macbeths will premiere online this May.
The Macbeths is an intimate and intense re-imagining of the Scottish play focusing on the passionate marriage at the heart of the story. Using a radically cut version of Shakespeare’s text adapted by director Dominic Hill and writer Frances Poet, the production charts the breakdown of the couple’s relationship following an act of murder which at first binds them together and then destroys them.
The play’s sell-out run in the Circle Studio at the Citizens Theatre in 2017 was widely acclaimed and was recently praised by Joyce McMillan as, “one of the most gripping and visceral experiences in the last decade of Scottish theatre.” (Scotsman Sessions, 12 June 2020)
The production is now being adapted for online audiences to experience at home in collaboration with Urbancroft Films. Set entirely on and around the couple’s sweat-tangled bed, the60-minute film will capture the feverish energy of the stage production to recreate the claustrophobic world the Macbeths inhabit.
The film reunites the original 2017 cast. Charlene Boyd, who currently plays PC Jac Dunn on River City and recently appeared in the critically acclaimed BBC drama The Trial of Christine Keeler, returns to the role of Lady Macbeth. Her electric portrayal of the ‘fiend like queen’ in 2017 earned her a Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland nomination for Best Female Performance.
Charlene will be joined by Keith Fleming, who is reprising the role of Macbeth. The actor is well-known for playing Lesley in hit TV series Outlander. He is also a regular on the Citizens stage having worked with Director Dominic Hill on many of the theatre’s best loved shows including Cyrano de Bergerac and Oresteia: This Restless House.
Citizens Theatre Artistic Director, Dominic Hill, commented: “I have always loved this play. It's a great story about a couple being undone by their own actions and it can be understood and enjoyed as easily today as it was 400 years ago. At the Citz, we are well known for re-imagining classic plays and I’m excited to return to this production and adapt it again for screen. Playing with camera techniques, we hope to encapsulate the raw emotions of the couple and the dark, sleepless nightmare they are in. We know that digital versions of our work can reach new audiences as well as keep our regular supporters connected to us and I hope this new film will give all of them a really rewarding experience.”
This is the second digital theatre experience of a full-length play the Citizens have produced, following their successful Stellar Quines co-production, Fibres, in November 2020.
The Macbeths will premiere online in late May. It will be free to view. More details to be announced soon.
The Macbeths film is supported by the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund.
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Citizens Theatre is Glasgow’s major producing theatre and one of the leading theatre companies in the UK. Over the last 75 years, the Citizens has built an international reputation for producing innovative shows on stage, alongside a highly regarded learning programme of participatory and education work. It is led by Artistic Director, Dominic Hill who is regarded as having “a talent for classical drama which is genuinely world class.” (Daily Telegraph) and Executive Director, Alex McGowan. The theatre presents bold new interpretations of classic texts that are accessible and relevant - and uniquely, where any member of the audience can attend a performance for as little as 50p. The company’s beautiful Victorian home in the Gorbals is currently closed while it undergoes a major redevelopment. This will be the first comprehensive, integrated redevelopment of the building since it opened in 1878. The project will transform the experiences of audiences, participants and performers and secure the future of one of Scotland’s most iconic buildings and leading producing theatres.
PERFORMING ARTS VENUE RELIEF FUND
The film of The Macbeths is made possible thanks to funding from the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund. More information about the fund can be found here:
From the play by William Shakespeare
The Macbeths is an intimate and intense re-imagining of the Scottish play.
Returning from battle, Macbeth hears a prophesy emboldening him to murder and betray. Compelled by his equally ruthless wife, Macbeth ignores his creeping sense of guilt and hopelessness and attempts to hasten the hand of fate, unwittingly ushering in the downfall of them both.
Dominic Hill’s brutal and intense production tells the Bard’s famous story in a powerfully distilled form. Set entirely on and around the couple’s sweat-tangled bed, it explores the destructive relationship at the heart of the story.
First performed in our Circle Studio in 2017 to great acclaim, we’re collaborating with Urbancroft Films and adapting the show for online audiences to experience at home. Reuniting the original cast (Charlene Boyd and Keith Fleming), the 60-minute film will capture the feverish energy of the stage performance.
Join us online this May as we return to the dark, sleepless world of The Macbeths. The film will be free to view. More information coming soon.
“...a rich evening of theatre for anyone who loves Macbeth, and also loves to see it reborn, in ever more challenging forms.” (The Scotsman on 2017 show)
” ...a sweaty, erotic and breathlessly self-destructive re-imagining” (The Herald on 2017 show)
“this is Shakespeare's play delivered in powerfully concentrated form, as if straight into the bloodstream.” (The Herald on 2017 show)
Charlene Boyd – Lady Macbeth
Keith Fleming - Macbeth
Director – Dominic Hill
Lighting Designer – Stuart Jenkins
Dramaturg – Frances Poet
Composer – Matthew Whiteside
Assistant Director – Joanna Bowman
Filmed by Urbancroft FilmsReturn to Press