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Horror film feels in new version of Scottish play

Eleanor Duval as Lady Macbeth
Eleanor Duval as Lady Macbeth
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The ‘supernatural horror’ of one of Shakespeare’s best-known tales is at the fore of a new production heading to Blackpool this spring.

The multi award-winning Mark Bruce Company is staging a new dance theatre version of Macbeth at the Grand Theatre, ‘set in a supernatural and brutal underworld, both tragic and beautiful, with a horror film atmosphere of menace and murder’ running through it.

Jonathan Goddard as Macbeth and Eleanor Duval as Lady Macbeth

Jonathan Goddard as Macbeth and Eleanor Duval as Lady Macbeth

With direction and choreography by visionary artistic director Mark Bruce and a cast of nine outstanding performers the reimagining of the tragedy will realise a ‘beautifully harrowing vision of an internal wasteland formed from the pursuit of power through ruthless means’.

Macbeth tells of a Scottish general, who is given a prophecy by three witches that one day he will become king of Scotland - fuelled by ambition and pushed by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan, takes the throne and enters into a spiral of guilt, paranoia, further murders and eventually madness and death.

Mark said: “Macbeth hits you fast, cuts through to the bone, and for me it is the least ambiguous of Shakespeare’s plays.

“Its darkness opens our nightmares; we recognise fundamental traits inside ourselves and the consequences of acting upon them.

“The vicious pursuit of power to fill a void will always be relevant – the Macbeths are everywhere in every age, because they are a part of us.

“I first read Macbeth as a teenager and returning to it now the images, atmosphere it evokes have not changed.

“Its power lies in a relentless tale of supernatural horror told with a beauty and symbolism that reaches to the tragic state of the ‘other’.

“The supernatural is always present in Macbeth, bending our own thoughts and perceptions as well as those of the protagonists.

“It infects us, always one step ahead, and Macbeth’s decisions are made in the world of a nightmare as if there is no separation between thought and action. Murder is done and descent is rapid.

“The Macbeths are mere playthings of the evil they set free, and in the madness and emptiness that ensues they become but walking shadows, or, as in my adaptation, simply clowns of sound and fury.”

The Mark Bruce Company has been creating dance-theatre work for more than 25 years, with celebrated productions including the award-winning Dracula in 2012, The Odyssey in 2016 and Love And War in 2010.

· Macbeth, Grand Theatre, Blackpool, Tuesday and Wednesday, April 17 and 18. Book online atwww.blackpoolgrand.co.uk.