2008 Macbeth

William Shakespeare (Grzegorz Jarzyna)

2008 Macbeth

Military commander Macbeth unleashes a nightmare of carnage and destruction. A war on terror that is a war of terror. Set in a contemporary and brutal Middle Eastern conflict, 2008: Macbeth is unflinching in its depiction of the machine of violence that, once set in motion, works faster and ever more efficiently. If killing in a war is justified, so is killing in the privacy of one’s home. If you can kill men, why not also women and children? 3.3 out of 5 based on 9 reviews
2008 Macbeth

Omniscore:

Location Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Venue Lowland Hall
Director Grzegorz Jarzyna
Cast Cezary Kosinski, Aleksandra Konieczna, Tomasz Tyndyk, Michal Zurawski
From August 2012
Until August 2012
Box Office 0131-473 2000
 

Military commander Macbeth unleashes a nightmare of carnage and destruction. A war on terror that is a war of terror. Set in a contemporary and brutal Middle Eastern conflict, 2008: Macbeth is unflinching in its depiction of the machine of violence that, once set in motion, works faster and ever more efficiently. If killing in a war is justified, so is killing in the privacy of one’s home. If you can kill men, why not also women and children?

Reviews

The Financial Times

Ian Shuttleworth

Jarzyna’s production may not set the action in a location that is coherent from a real-world perspective, but its psychogeography is gripping. Forces greater than any man, greater even than any army, buffet the current of events one way and another; the supernatural portents in the original play are replaced by 21st-century weaponry, helicopter air strikes and the like. And Macbeth, of course, pays the ultimate price for not having formulated an exit strategy.

13/08/2012

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The Guardian

Lyn Gardner

akes its cue, both visually and aurally, from a Hollywood blockbuster war movie, albeit one in which there are no heroes. If this early flashiness offers a vision of boys playing with the toys of war – and a director playing with a really big budget – the production eventually settles into something that, while never exactly subtle, captures the edgy, nightmarish quality of the play rather brilliantly. There are nods towards horror movies, particularly in the unsettling soundscape, although the production is always most compelling when it's least Hollywood and most Shakespeare.

12/08/2012

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The Scotsman

Joyce McMillan

The play – not helped by English surtitles that mix the original text with flat naturalistic banalities – is unsubtle, and sometimes crude. It reduces Lady Macbeth to a vulgar housewife, is oddly bereft (despite Shakespeare’s magnificent poetry on the subject, all cut here) of a wider sense of Macbeth’s impact on the territory he rules, makes very little of the colonising aspect of his final defeat, and never develops the strange presence on stage of a rabbit-like court jester, and a sinister magician.

13/08/2012

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The Sunday Times

Maxie Szakwinska

Gets you watching as if your life depended on it, and leaves you heart-wrecked.

12/08/2012

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The Observer

Susannah Clapp

Directed at one pace and on one clamorous pitch throughout, this is a martial not a mental production. Violence and a woozy surrealism – the drunken orgy involves a rabbit costume – come to a convincing head in the final moments, with outbursts of hysterical laughter. Yet the evening is starved of inner life, and of precise language. Surtitles give a version of Shakespeare's words that is occasionally exact, often approximate, sometimes violently updated: "Banquo, are you on something?" Unease and equivocation are lost among the gunpowder.

19/08/2012

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Time Out

Time Out

The list of warnings for audiences of a nervous disposition is also hilariously long, with everything from flashing lights and nudity to flaming explosions and gunfire. Grzegorz Jarzyna’s production is about as close as you’re going to get to seeing an action blockbuster performed on a stage, and it’s tremendously exciting stuff, and certainly one of the more accessible shows within Warszawa’s oft hallucinogenic repertoire.

14/08/2012

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The Stage

Gerald Berkowitz

Dialogue in Polish is translated back in subtitles, sometimes to Shakespeare’s words, sometimes to such infelicities as ‘Cut it out. Fate is fate’, and a number of strange stagings seem based on misunderstandings of the text, such as when Macbeth’s “Ne’er shake thy gory locks at me” results in a ghost with severe palsy.

13/08/2012

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The Independent

Anna Burnside

As a spectacle, this a whooping success: guns, explosions, fire, water, a soundscape which whooshes from techno to creepy white noise via cheesy lounge music, the soldier guiding a helicopter to land with flaming sparklers, the clever use of video cameras to take us into every corner of the set, the lighting which uses neon tubes, torches, spotlights and everything in between. All great. Shakespeare, however, should not need pyrotechnics to keep an audience going for two hours without an interval.

14/08/2012

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The Times

Robert Dawson Scott

A huge set across three levels in a specially constructed venue with plenty of video projections and effects, guns, explosions and, appropriately enough for this of all plays, blood spattered everywhere. It would be going too far to say all this signifies nothing but it certainly doesn’t have much to do with Shakespeare’s play. Its contemporary Middle Eastern setting is expressly based on US experience in Iraq, which brings in all sorts of military hardware and a Hecate in a burka. But it makes no sense because all the killing and dynastic struggles go on between soldiers in the invading forces. Stands Scotland where it did? More like stands the US Marine Corps where it did.

14/08/2012

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