Brave Macbeth

Aug 5 2019 | By More

★★★★☆  Brilliant

Young critics scheme review
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33): Wed 31 July – Sun 18 Aug 2019
Review by Suzanne O’Brien

Captivate Theatre’s production of Brave Macbeth directed by Sally Lyall at Pleasance Above, shines a completely different light on Shakespeare’s tragedy with modern twists and props galore.

Based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth this musical production combines a much simplified version of the original with singing, dancing and slapstick. The simplicity of it invites those who are yet to explore Shakespeare’s work – particularly young children – to enjoy the story of the play without the complexities of the original.

Brave Macbeth publicity

Macbeth is returning from battle when he is told by three witches that he is going to be King. Macbeth’s wife is over joyed with the news and immediately forces her husband to kill the reigning monarch. However, it turns out not to be as simple as it seems.

With a terrifyingly evil laugh, Georgia Lee Roberts portrays Lady Macbeth with ease. Her overly dramatic persona, movements and facial expressions are scary yet utterly hilarious. Roberts creates a character people love to hate.

Liam Forrester takes on the title role with a strong sense of power and fearlessness. He exudes charm which slowly dissipates as his intimidating wife persuades him to do her wishes. Forrester also brings great comedy to the role when attempting to perform soliloquies from the original play.

The eight actors use the entire theatre space by going into the audience and around the sides of the seating area, fully immersing you into the piece. They are not afraid to engage and involve the audience throughout which creates a great atmosphere.

The songs throughout the production highlight various parts of the story, helping make it easy to follow. They are also very catchy and bring a wonderfully fun energy to the play.


Much of the comedy comes from the large number of props – from swords to coconuts. Many of the props are used in imaginative ways – instead of involving more character changes they use wooden spoons for people and are not afraid to use coconuts to emulate the sound of horses hooves.

A scene from Brave Macbeth. Pic: Georgie Ross

Modern references are intertwined with costumes, props and nods to politics of today giving it a contemporary feel and making it relatable to the audience.

What is particularly clever about this production is that while there are many props, costume changes and character changes, it is done so smoothly that it is easy to watch and follow. Each character is well defined making them clearly identifiable and the action is so engaging it’s impossible to be distracted – making it perfectly pitched for children.

Whether you are a fan of Shakespeare’s original or are new to Shakespeare, it doesn’t matter. This production is entertaining, light-hearted and filled to the brim with comedy, slapstick and songs.

A children’s show that has something for everyone.

Running time: One hour (no interval)
Pleasance Above, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ
Wednesday 31 July  – Sunday 18 August 2017
Daily: 11.50am.

Tickets and details:
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Facebook: @captivatetheatre
Twitter: @Captivate_LTD


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