It is always a challenge to review a canonical play like Macbeth.

One of Shakespeare's most famous plays, it has all the essential elements of the dark arts, filled with witches and prophecy, ambition and legacy, all in the first scene. More than this however the power of this play rests in the strength of its actors, and the enveloping of the audience into the world of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and how their desire to be King leads to their demise.

Performed by Nathaniel Dean as Macbeth and Alison Whyte, as Lady Macbeth, the play begins with the spells of the witches, who bring in the darker, more mystical side of the play. Brooding and powerful, this sense of darker motives prevades the play. Banquo and Lady Macbeth do stellar performances, and the Royal Botanical Gardens suitably darken, to add to the heavy sense of ambition and fear rising in Macbeth in the play, leading to the deaths of many.

Ultimately the final suicide of Lady Macbeth and the overthrow of 'King' Macbeth seem almost inevitable, with Macbeth going mad with guilt. Haunted by his friend Banquo's ghost, the play delivers the just end to murder, further entrenching the dark motives of the play, and highlighting the relevance the play has when commenting on politics, even today.

Rating: 3.5/5


Dates: 21 December, 2018 to 23 February, 2019

Location: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne - Southern Cross Lawn (enter via Observatory Gate opposite the Shrine of Remembrance: Birdwood

Avenue, South Yarra)

Times: Tues to Sun, 8:30pm (until 31 January) / Tues to Sun, 8pm (after 31 January)

Bookings: 03 8676 7511 or here

Shakespeare Australia Website