Marvellously murderous

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The last time I saw Macbeth I missed the entire first act thanks to a coach driver who got lost on a school trip.

So some 15 years later the chance to see it performed in the round at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre was too good to miss.

Directed by Daniel Evans, this performance of The Scottish Play was deliciously dark, bloody and compelling.

Geoffrey Streatfeild delivered a commanding performance in the title role, portraying the murderous thain who would-be king, with just a hint of vulnerability.

But maybe it was that vulnerability which allowed his wife, played by Claudie Blakley, to successfully sow the seeds of murder into his mind.

The two leads were well supported by a talented cast with stand out performances from David Ganly as Banquo, John Dougall as Macduff and Christopher Logan as several characters including the porter and bleeding captain.

Being performed in the round allowed the audience to truly feel a part of action and added to the fast-paced action as the actors were rarely still for long.

The excellent and imaginative set design brings to life one of the best scenes of the play - when the apparition of the murdered Banquo returns to torment Macbeth as he feasts.

Macbeth marks the third large-scale Shakespearean tragedy to be performed on the Crucible stage in as many years, following on from the success of Othello last year and Hamlet in 2010, and forms part of the Crucible’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

It is showing at The Crucible Theatre until Saturday 6th October.