18 June 2004 | didi-5
fast paced version aimed at schools
This bare-bones and inspired version of 'Macbeth' appeared on Channel 4 Schools programming in instalments before being shown in its entirety for a wider audience. Michael Bogdanov's film puts the action strictly in the here and now, in the rough and violent world of an apocalyptic estate, with Macbeth himself as an unrepentant maniac heading straight for hell.
Macbeth is perhaps the best Shakespeare play to give a shot in the arm - its the shortest and perhaps the easiest of the tragedies to manipulate any which way you choose. So this version works completely in what it intends to do, i.e. speak to a younger audience and flip this play on its head.
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are admirably played by Sean Pertwee and Greta Scacchi, while others making a strong impression in the cast include Philip Madoc as Duncan, Michael Maloney as Banquo, and Lorcan Cranitch. Fans of the UK series 'Coupling' can see Jack Davenport and Richard Coyle in there too, alongside 'Birds of a Feather' star Lesley Joseph as one of the witches.