How can one man give a performance of Macbeth on his own? And if he could, how could it be one of the best productions of Macbeth that I've seen?
Well, the guy did it. Stephen Dillane rocked the Almeida last night, and I recommend you go. You probably need to have seen a different production of the play already, just to be sure you know roughly what's going on, but to be honest I thought it was all pretty clear. And there's a synopsis in the programme just in case.
Yes, it was a very impressive and powerful show. I think two things helped here: first, it's an amazing play to begin with, so you can do almost anything you like with it and you should be ok; second, he zipped through it and we were all done by ten past 9. We didn't have to bother with any of those tedious scene changes that theatre people are so keen on.
That upped the pace and the tension, plus there was time for coffee and some cake afterwards.
By the way, while I'm talking about coffee and cake, should I name and shame some Islington restaurants? We tried a place last night, explaining as we entered that we didn't want a full meal, just dessert and a hot drink. We at down and waited for some service. Several minutes later we were presented with a basket of bread and some olives. We explained again about only wanting dessert. The waitress didn't speak English, so she fetched her colleague. Fair enough. Sadly, he didn't understand us either. He fetched the proprietor. This was the man to whom we'd made our explanation in the first place, so he already knew that we only needed the dessert menu.
He threw us out.
So we went from a riveting one-man tragedy, to a far less entertaining farce, in which we played a small but frustrating part.