Review: Artslab: Body Of Work (Shopfront Arts Co-op)

Venue: 107 (Redfern NSW), Mar 22 – Apr 2, 2023
Images by Clare Hawley

Playwright/Director/Cast: Flynn Mapplebeck

Under The Influence
Playwrights: Ana Fenner, Amelia Gilday
Director: Amelia Gilday
Cast: Ana Fenner

Playwrights: Lu Bradshaw, Mina Bradshaw
Mina Bradshaw
Cast: Michael Ho, Jessica Melchert, Bailey Tanks, Sophie Florence Ward

Theatre review

In Quadrants, grownup single child Flynn Mapplebeck recounts his days in lockdown, and connects those experiences with other memories of loneliness. It is a work of great idiosyncrasy, with Mapplebeck’s easy charm sustaining our attention effortlessly through the  duration. A slideshow features prominently in the humorous presentation, along with exhilarating music, both adding substantively to the richness of Mapplebeck’s whimsical show. Quadrants communicates with a distinct blitheness, but speaks volumes between the lines, about the state of our social disconnectedness.

Ana Fenner and Amelia Gilday explore in Under the Influence, the frustrations of a woman as she embarks on the journey of gender transition. Fenner is sole performer of the piece, working intimately with live and recorded video projections that represent effectively, the entanglements of self identification with our culture of pervasive digital imagery. A memorable segment involving physical endurance, reveals both Fenner’s dedication and despair, in a work that looks to be an autobiographical expression of a transgender experience in the current epoch.

Lu and Mina Bradshaw take us to the absurd world of wellness, in their hilarious farce Zest, set in an expensive retreat, where individuals unravel over several weeks, in hopes of attaining some imagined condition of enlightenment. Directed by Mina Bradshaw, Zest delivers genuine hilarity, and big belly laughs, through its scathing parodies of ignorant devotees and their desperation, as they are put through the wringer, of commodified torment. An excellent cast of four, Michael Ho, Jessica Melchert, Bailey Tanks and Sophie Florence Ward, depict with mock earnestness and biting sarcasm, the comical but brutal deterioration taking place at the glorified camp. We watch well-meaning people act in stupid ways, gleefully snickering from our position of sanctimony, but also aware of the very fine lines that separate us from them.

There is a commonality between the three presentations, that relate to the very real human feeling of inadequacy. It seems that deeply entrenched in Australian life, is our constant submission to this interminable sentiment of feeling not enough. There is something in our history of European colonialism, and in the forms of patriarchy and capitalism that have taken hold subsequently, that require of us, this ubiquitous need to always prove ourselves to be better, that what we have and who we are, is always deficient.

It is a mechanism of subjugation, so that we permit others to forever have dominance over us, so that sovereignty over our lives is never to be claimed by the self. It should not be radical or anarchic to love oneself unconditionally, but it seems that thinking that there is nothing wrong with the self, and that all the faults are with systems one has no choice but to operate under, is the most revolutionary of all the paths to mindful transformation.

Review: Into The Woods (Belvoir St Theatre)

Venue: Belvoir St Theatre (Surry Hills NSW), Mar 18 – Apr 23, 2023
Book: James Lapine
Music and Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim
Director: Eamon Flack
Cast: Marty Alix, Stefanie Caccamo, Peter Carroll, Tamsin Carroll, Andrew Coshan, Lena Cruz, Tim Draxl, Esther Hannaford, Shubshri Kandiah, Mo Lovegrove, Anne-Maree McDonald, Justin Smith
Images by Christopher Hayles

Theatre review

Truth always finds its way into the stories we tell, although the degree with which it is incorporated, varies wildly. Some truths are hard to bear, so we have them varnished and camouflaged. Other truths are easier understood, when disguised as something adjacent to stone cold facts. There is a danger however, that the human mind can sometimes do all it can, to evade truths that are too bitter, so we spare ourselves the cruelty, and fabricate nonsense for delusory alternatives that might be more tolerable, thereby circumventing any action that could help improve matters.

James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods takes aim at the ways in which we explain the world to our children, urging us to consider how much protection to offer them, and how much real understanding we want them to have. By extension, it compels each of us to examine our own capacities to handle the rougher aspects of existence, and questions the veracity with which we navigate the more consequential challenges that inevitably arise.

Exuberant direction by Eamon Flack, along with a sense of indefatigable urgency that sets the pace, makes for a show that has us riveted and amused. A stellar cast brings not only great skill and talent, but also an inspiring sincerity, that draws us deep into the nuances, both sensorial and intellectual, of Lapine and Sondheim’s masterpiece.

Orchestrations by Guy Simpson reduces accompaniment to a couple of pianos, with mixed results. An inviting intimacy is achieved for the production, but the music can on occasion be insufficiently rousing. Fortunately, sound design by David Bergman supplements our need for greater drama, in moments where a more rhapsodic level of emotion is required.

Set design by Michael Hankin is fairly minimal in approach, with an abundance of gleaming black surfaces that deliver timeless visual sophistication. Costumes by Micka Agosta do not veer very far away from the vivid essences of characters as prescribed in the text, but several surprising and extravagant interpretations, leave a remarkable impression. Damien  Cooper’s lights are in constant motion, meticulously and imaginatively illuminating the action, to create endlessly sumptuous imagery, whilst facilitating all the meaningful storytelling.

It is probably with a considerable amount of delusion, that people decide to birth babies into existence. Parents imagine that they can shield their offspring from all manner of harm, and further, they fantasise about creating futures that are brighter and altogether lovelier, in which their children can flourish. It is in moments of passion perhaps, that people forget the unrelenting suffering, intermittent it may be for some, that underscores all our days on this plane. They then dream up fairy tales and enchanting fables, to manufacture sweeter, kinder and more tender realities, for ears that will only be delicate for a short amount of time, before they too have to wake up, to all that is nightmarish, in how we have to traverse this mortal experience.

Review: On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (Seymour Centre)

Venue: Seymour Centre (Sydney NSW), Mar 17 – Apr 15, 2023
Book and Lyrics: Alan Jay Lerner (adaptation by Jay James-Moody)
Music: Burton Lane
Director: Jay James-Moody
Cast: Natalie Abbott, Blake Bowden, Lincoln Elliott, James Haxby, Jay James-Moody, Madeleine Jones, Billie Palin
Images by David Hooley

Theatre review

Daisy is put under hypnosis by Dr Bruckner, to explore a sort of regression therapy, in order that the origins of Daisy’s ESP abilities can be uncovered. Quite by accident, a past life emerges, and Bruckner promptly falls for the ghost of Melinda, who seems to reside in Daisy’s body. The trouble however, is in the liberties that the doctor takes with his patient’s body. Daisy remains unaware of Melinda’s existence, and is certainly oblivious to the physical intimacies being shared, whilst in a trance.

Alan Jay Lerner’s 1965 book and lyrics for the musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever certainly would not fly in today’s climate, especially if Daisy was a woman. This current adaptation by Jay James-Moody, takes inspiration from the 2011 Broadway adaptation, and makes Daisy a man, presumably so that the quandary of gender imbalance in the original is eliminated. A case of sexual assault between men, along with professional impropriety, is however still at the centre of the piece, and it is arguable if the production addresses either adequately.

The show begins with wonderful charm, as we are introduced to the three main characters, all of whom are played by extremely likeable performers; James-Moody as Daisy, along with Blake Bowden as Bruckner and Madeleine Jones as Melinda, form quite the formidable team.  The supporting cast of Natalie Abbott, Lincoln Elliott, James Haxby and Billie Palin, too is an accomplished foursome, each with evident commitment to the cause.

As we get into the nitty-gritty of the story, a lethargy unfortunately develops, and a conspicuous lack of theatrical verve persists until the end of Act 1. Returning from interval, things take a swift turn, and a much more convivial experience takes hold, for a comedy that is although problematic, has the capacity to keep its audience engrossed.

Set design by Michael Hankin is creatively imagined, and beautifully realised by Bella Rose Saltearn, but awkward entrances and exits, reveal an oversight perhaps, of the show’s more practical requirements. Costumes, also by Hankin, establish strongly the personality types we encounter, but it is not entirely convincing that an English woman from 1923 is wearing trousers outside of the sporting field, or that Daisy would be wearing shorts, to embark on a vacation to Vancouver. Lights by James Wallis, operate delicately to offer visual enhancements for recurring supernatural elements, but several deficient blackouts, prove distracting for an otherwise pleasurable vista.

Natalya Aynsley’s orchestrations and arrangements are inexhaustibly elegant, fully utilising the score’s old Broadway sound to great nostalgic effect. Subtle sound design by Oliver Brighton delivers further auditory magic, with thoughtful adjustments that help us place the narrative in oscillating realms, moving us between past and present, real and metaphysical.

Not only has Dr Bruckner recently lost his wife, he is now dealing with the complications of having amorous feelings for another dead woman, as well as being newly enamoured with a real human male. All this vulnerability could make Brucker an empathetic character,  but he should not be regarded as anything other than the villain of the piece. It is unforgivable behaviour, even if disguised by some of the most romantic music, and plenty of sweet nothings, one can hear.

Review: Apocka-wocka-lockalypse (Meraki Arts Bar)

Venue: Meraki Arts Bar (Darlinghurst NSW), Mar 16 – Apr 1, 2023
Playwright: Richard Hilliar
Richard Hilliar
Cast: Matt Abotomey, Lib Campbell, Zoe Crawford, Nathan Porteus, Nicole Wineberg
Images by Clare Hawley

Theatre review

In a bunker beneath what has become known as the Deadlands, Miss Melissa lives with four furry monsters, spending their days together as though in a children’s television programme, singing songs and telling stories. There is no audience of course, for it is the end of the world, and Miss Melissa has quite clearly lost her mind. Written and directed by Richard Hilliar, Apocka-wocka-lockalypse is as mad as its protagonist, but is thankfully a great deal more likeable.

A deeply subversive work, consistently amusing with its irreverent spirit, and its excellent sense of humour, Apocka-wocka-lockalypse satisfies beyond the laughs it so deftly delivers. The show is genuinely funny, but also provocative, determined to make bold statements about a catastrophic future, that we are in the delusory habit of ignoring. Art reveals the truth, even when it seems to spend all its time entertaining and playing the fool.

Hillier’s methodology of incorporating puppetry, allows our sensibilities to venture directly into a space of absurdity. A suspension of disbelief then occurs, along with a diminishment of defences, in order that the show may convey its difficult message, as well as trigger our imagination to participate in something altogether more outlandish and flamboyant.

Matt Abotomey, Lib Campbell, Zoe Crawford and Nathan Porteus are our enthralling puppeteers, a brilliant team of storytellers who bring extraordinary animation and passion, to the production. Inventive and cohesive, they make the experience compelling from beginning to end. Miss Melissa is played by Nicole Wineberg, who inhabits both the sweet and the terrifying qualities of her character with aplomb, in a performance that captivates most when she channels a sense of extravagance, into the eccentric tale.

Production design by Ash Bell is a whimsical take on Miss Melissa’s unnerving world, combining innocence with horror, for visual cues that are truly disarming. Lights by Isobel Morrissey are minimal, but nonetheless effective. Music by Alexander Lee-Rekers brings valuable elevation to the staging, tremendously accurate with all that it wishes to evoke in the viewer, full of humorous insight, to reveal the meanings behind the relentlessly zany darkness.

Our apocalypse can be thought of as preventable, or be regarded with a gloomy inevitability, but it seems we mostly pretend that it is not actually imminent. Indeed, we may already be in the very throes of our end times. Our boundless proficiency at being optimistic, has proven necessary in preventing us from depressive states of paralysed hopelessness, but it appears to also be the Achilles heel, that puts us in perpetual denial and that encourages us to keep repeating the same mistakes. There may be light at the end of the tunnel, but to think that we will arrive at salvation without gargantuan effort, is to sound the death knell of our species. |

Review: Rhinestone Rex And Miss Monica (Ensemble Theatre)

Venue: Ensemble Theatre (Kirribilli NSW), Mar 10 – Apr 29, 2023
Playwright: David Williamson
Director: Mark Kilmurry
Cast: Glenn Hazeldine, Georgie Parker
Images by Prudence Upton

Theatre review

David Williamson’s Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica is a light-hearted 2010 comedy about the romantic attraction between seemingly diametrically opposing personality types. It is on one hand an innocuous work that could not be more pedestrian, yet on the other, it is an absurd fantasy about a woman falling in love with a tradesman she hires, who repeatedly overrides her design decisions thinking he knows better, who goes on radio calling her “crazy”, and who she discovers one morning, had tried to sleep with her the night before, when she was completely intoxicated.

Actors Glenn Hazeldine and Georgie Parker prove themselves extremely endearing, as the eponymous pair, persuasive in having us ignore the inadequacies of the writing almost entirely, to simply enjoy the obvious jokes, in their perfectly timed two-hander. Under Mark Kilmurry’s direction, Hazeldine and Parker present a joyful rom-com, showcasing their talents as consummate performers any audience would be happy to spend time with.

Set design by Veronique Benett lacks versatility, but is beautifully proportioned to allow for a generous and dynamic performance space. Benett’s costumes establish character types with immediacy and accuracy; helping us know instinctively and exactly, who these Sydneysiders are. Lights by Trudy Dalgeish and sound by Daryl Wallis, add simple embellishments, to make an already tight production, feel even more polished.

There is certainly a story to be told about class distinctions in this town, for in our efforts to assert the types of people we are, it seems we habitually and inevitably create systems of exclusion, inside what should be one unified community. Monica and Rex are presented as individuals from different ends of town, but we are expected to believe that love will conquer all, that everything they are associated with, that every incompatibility can be put aside, so that their relationship can flourish.  Lust is an intense force, but every indication is that it does little to ameliorate the social differences we hold so obstinately dear.

Review: Gundog (Kings Cross Theatre)

Venue: Kings Cross Theatre (Kings Cross NSW), Mar 3 – 18, 2023
Playwright: Simon Longman
Anthony Skuse
Cast: Jane Angharad, Saro Lepejian, Mark Langham, James Smithers, LJ Wilson
Images by Clare Hawley

Theatre review
When immigrant worker Guy stumbles upon a remote farm, he discovers its state of disrepair to be much more than skin deep. English playwright Simon Longman’s Gundog looks at the tribulations of a rural family, and the disquiet that seems so fundamental to being human, no matter how idyllic the surroundings. There is no shortage of drama in Gundog, although the tensions that arise, seem to emerge from nowhere. We find ourselves in a locale where inhabitants cannot help, but go through immense existential angst, even when nothing much seems to happen.

Director Anthony Skuse manufactures an air of austere placidity for the piece, leaving us no doubt about the palpating misery at the centre of these characters’ lives. A persistent humourlessness can make for challenging viewing, especially in the first half where the storytelling feels especially dour. Lights by Travis Kecek and sound by Kieran Camejo are accordingly severe, but with an unmistakeable sophistication that is ultimately an asset for the show. Set by James Smithers features a raked platform adding visual interest, while Aloma Barnes’ costumes demonstrate an attention to detail, that helps keep our attention firmly within this world of agrarian dread.

As actor, the aforementioned Smithers is a source of scarce but gratifying emotional intensity, with the psychological tumult that he so competently portrays, as the immensely distraught Ben. Saro Lepejian brings understated authenticity to Guy, and delivers beautiful poignancy at a crucial concluding moment. Jane Angharad and LJ Wilson play Anna and Becky, sisters struggling to make sense of a crumbling reality, and Mark Langham is grandfather Mick, the withering patriarch offering a reminder of the family’s painful links to land and heritage.

It is true, that we can escape our homes to where the grass is greener, but whatever causes agony is easily transposed at each new destination, as peace is always primarily a condition of a person’s inner welfare. Also true, is that a change of scenery is often useful for triggering changes in the mind. The outside and the inside are intrinsically linked, and sometimes abandonment is the best gift to oneself, when in search of something better.

Review: Collapsible (Old Fitz Theatre)

Venue: Old Fitzroy Theatre (Woolloomooloo NSW), Mar 9 – Apr 1, 2023
Writer: Margaret Perry
Directors: Zoë Hollyoak, Morgan Moroney
Cast: Janet Anderson
Images by Phil Erbacher

Theatre review
Esther is asking everyone she knows, for a word to describe herself. In Margaret Perry’s Collapsible, we see the strange things a person does, when deep in the process of job hunting. Esther contorts her personality into different forms, in hopes that she may be perceived as a right fit, for one of the many organisations that she is interviewing with. We observe someone trying to be all things to all people, and ultimately becoming an empty vessel, knowing nothing about herself, from trying to appeal to an economy determined to reward mediocrity and that encourages one to shed their values and principles.

There is an abundance of abstraction in Perry’s writing, which Zoë Hollyoak and Morgan Moroney use as directors of the piece, to deliver something memorable for its rich visuals. Although unpredictable and exciting with its sense of theatricality, the show can feel somewhat hollow, which admittedly is an accurate representation of Esther’s essence. A more intense depiction of anxiety and unease, that accompanies the existential angst being reflected, could perhaps make the experience more worthwhile.

Set and costumes by Hayden Relf offer surprising solutions, that make for a quirky staging that sustains our attention, in what could easily have been a very understated one-woman show. Video projections by Daniel Herten and Moroney, are ambitiously rendered but offer little other than a demonstration of an experimental spirit. Lights, also by Moroney, are a more satisfying aspect of the production, delivering great texture and atmospheric transformations. Herten’s sound design is wonderfully lively, but could benefit from a greater sensitivity in approach.

Actor Janet Anderson is thoroughly captivating as Esther, with an impressive degree of control over the challenging material being explored. Emotional aspects of Anderson’s performance could be more delicately managed, but her vigorous physicality keeps us engrossed.

It is not only for financial reasons that Esther loses herself, but also the pressures of social conformity, that pushes her to twist her soul, into something that prioritises external expectations. We are not certain if Esther has forgotten herself, or if she had indeed ever truly known herself. The hard part of being, is to arrive at a state of knowing the self. To navigate life only in bewilderment, is unquestionably tragic. /

Review: The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia? (Sydney Theatre Company)

Venue: Roslyn Packer Theatre (Sydney NSW), Mar 2 – Apr 1, 2023
Playwright: Edward Albee
Director: Mitchell Butel
Cast: Yazeed Daher, Claudia Karvan, Nathan Page, Mark Saturno
Images by Prudence Upton

Theatre review
Martin is obsessed with a goat; the attraction may very well be romantic, but when he tells his wife Stevie about the affair, Martin leaves no room for doubt about the sexual nature of his indiscretions. The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? is Edward Albee’s comedic masterpiece from 2000, notable for a conceit that most would choose to think of as absurd, for to take the play at face value, is unquestionably a real affront to our middle-class sensibilities.

Director Mitchell Butel toys with those precarious boundaries, by injecting a thorough realism into the staging, so that we laugh not only at the preposterous goings on, but also at the deeply uncomfortable disruptions to the bourgeoisie, that Albee so gleefully manufactures. Butel’s ability to make everything believable, gives the show a dangerous edge, so that for 100 minutes, the stakes feel incredibly high, even as the humour of the work makes its presence unmistakably known.

Actor Nathan Page is an astonishing Martin, bringing a hugely surprising measure of emotional truth, to this deliciously ridiculous tale. His expressions of devastation are not to earn our compassion, but to give depth of meaning to our experience of the show, as we laugh heartily at the catastrophe as it develops, with increasing peculiarity. Page’s unexpected fluctuations in tone and intensity, reflect a creative and courageous approach, that proves a perfect match for the play’s subversive humour.

Stevie is played by Claudia Karvan, who indulges in finding for her storytelling, all the authenticity that would make the audience perceive, the intricacies of a marriage in a state of shock. The ebullient Yazeed Daher charms as the couple’s son Billy (pun intended, one would suppose), and Mark Saturno calms our nerves as the normie of the piece, providing a more conventional response to the whole goat affair, although not without substantial hilarity through his excellent comic timing.

The production is a smart looking one, with Jeremy Allen’s set and Ailsa Paterson’s costumes delivering everything that is visually pleasant, of affluent, restrained whiteness. Lights by Nigel Levings, along with sound and music by Andrew Howard, are appropriately minimal in their enhancements of a play, that needs little aesthetic embellishment.

Things can always change in an unforeseen moment. We have learned from the moment of birth, that life has a way of dispensing upon us, one interruption after another, yet we keep on insisting on searching for stability, normalcy and calm. Martin and Stevie bolster their lives with all the comfort and certainty, that wealth seems to guarantee, but we are reminded that things will always descend, upon that which seems the most harmonious and indefectible, as though with the sole intention of wreaking havoc. To exist, is to be rendered defenceless, try as we may, to subsist in the delusion, that we can reach for something like nirvana, on this endlessly farcical plane. |

Review: Sunderella (ARA Darling Quarter Theatre)

Venue: ARA Darling Quarter Theatre (Sydney NSW), Mar 1 – 4, 2023
Playwright: Kunal Mirchandani
Director: Bali Padda
Cast: Nickin Alexander, Aria, Sheila Dickshit, Mohini Dixit, Kashif Harrison, Adish Jain, Zeenat Parveen, Rani, Shabnam Tavakol
Images by Dusk Devi Vision

Theatre review

In this version of a very familiar story, the prince is left with a bangle instead of a glass slipper, to look for the woman of his dreams. Also different in this new iteration of the tale, is that the woman turns out to be a man, who had gone to the ball, dressed in drag. Kunal Mirchandani’s Sunderella moves the story to Mumbai in 1762, for a queer reframing of a classic love story, that should prove more appealing to the many who are tired of the heterosexual dynamic, so obstinately central to virtually all of our fairy tales.

Comical yet tender, Sunderella contains both ironic humour and innocent romance, blended together for a delightful show catering to kids of all ages. Director Bali Padda imbues a delicious camp sensibility throughout the piece, and along with choreographer Zeenat Parveen, deliver something that shimmers reflexively, both on the surface, and from within its vivacious heart. Costumes by Parveen, Shurobhi Banerjee and Mishty Lal, are gloriously assembled, and lights by James Wallis are just as spectacular, for a production that satisfies with its visual sumptuousness.

Parveen further impresses, as performer in the role of The Goddess, with sparkling charisma and a marvellously disciplined physicality, that provides some level of polish, to a presentation that is otherwise memorable for its stable of raw talent. Shabnam Tavakol is strong as the vicious Stepmother, leaving no ambiguity regarding her malicious intentions. The handsome Prince Nirad is played by Nickin Alexander, who brings a valuable earnestness that gives the storytelling a believable anchor. The titular part of Sunderella is shared by Mohini Dixit and Adish Jain, both demonstrating good commitment, to elicit our emotional investment into their show.

The ease with which Prince Nirad was able to adjust to the discovery, that his love is more a man, than a woman, is indeed a refreshing change from what feels like a centuries-long fabrication, that the only appropriate response for a situation of this nature, is panic. It may be with Sunderella that we learn to re-classify the prince as pansexual, or it may be that we learn to ameliorate the way we understand gender, so that those who are disadvantaged because of gender disparities, can begin to live reclaim all they deserve.

Review: Macbeth (Bell Shakespeare)

Venue: Sydney Opera House (Sydney NSW), Feb 25 – Apr 2, 2023
Playwright: William Shakespeare
Director: Peter Evans
Cast: Rebecca Attanassio, Julia Billington, Isabel Burton, Jeremi Campese, Eleni Cassimatis, James Lugton, Kyle Morrison, Hazem Shammas, Jessica Tovey, Jacob Warner
Images by Brett Boardman

Theatre review

The most timeless element about Shakespeare’s Macbeth, is perhaps its meditations on ambition and guilt. Centuries on, men continue to be ruthless, as they claw their way to the top, but it is not often that we see any evidence of remorse thereafter. The play is concerned with the human conscience, but it is revelatory that most of how its characters experience regret, can only take place in supernatural realms; an indication that much as we wish for the rich and powerful to admit wrongdoing and make amends, it is but a fantasy in our individual and collective minds.

Under Peter Evans’ direction, the production certainly bears a dreamlike quality, inspired by the subconscious goings on, that are mercilessly unleashed throughout the narrative. Designed by Anna Tregloan, the monochromatic space looks to be Twin Peaks meets Art Deco, complete with heavy drapes and patterned floor, sumptuous but nightmarish, in its evocation of the World War I period. Lights by Damien Cooper add to the luxuriant visual style, whilst rumbling music by Max Lyandvert, although not short of tension, is at times strangely hesitant in getting involved, with the drama’s unbridled extravagance.

Actor Hazem Shammas is extraordinary in conveying operatic scales of emotions, in a deeply compelling treatment of the titular role.  Shammas’ intensity seems to know no bounds, with an uncanny ability to externalise the dire psychological trauma being investigated, for a performance memorable for its fascinating physicality. Jessica Tovey’s approach for Lady Macbeth is considered, but sanitised, with an unusual degree of restraint applied, to one of the most outrageously imagined women in the Western literary canon.

When Macbeth receives his just desserts at the bitter end, it is both a result of his own unravelling, and of Macduff’s need to seek revenge. Our desire for good to triumph over evil, is repeatedly evidenced in the art that we make. Art provides opportunities for catharsis, when real life fails to deliver what our instincts know to be true and just. In a world that insist on rewarding those who act nefariously, it is only in our storytelling that we can find, the most perfect of resolutions.