Alan Cumming has won glittering praise for his performance in Macbeth.
Tony and Olivier Award winning Alan Cumming stars in a new Broadway production of Shakespeare's Macbeth, which has garnered strong reviews following its opening show at the Barrymore Theatre. The supporting cast includes Jenny Sterlin and Brendan Titley, though critics focused the majority of their praise for Cumming, star of 'Cabaret' and 'The Good Wife.'
Directed by John Tiffany, himself a Tony winner for 'Once' and Andrew Goldberg, The National Theatre of Scotland's Macbeth is set in a clinical room deep within a dark psychiatric unit. This is not a straight retelling of Shakespeare's masterpiece. Cumming plays the lone patient, reliving the infamous story and inhabiting each of the roles himself. Orwellian camera watch the patient's every move, while the technical aspects of the show see the walls of the psychiatric ward come to the life in a visually stunning experience.
The New York Times' Charles Isherwood was among those praising Cumming's considerable ability, writing, "Watching him perform this personalized rendition of "Macbeth," I was at times more intrigued by the battle going on between the serious actor and the shameless entertainer than I was by the tense struggles taking place in the divided mind of Macbeth." Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press agreed, saying, "If it's not clear by now, what Cumming is doing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre is delivering a tour-de-force that redefines the term...While there is no doubt about Cumming's ability - he cowers, he acts menacing, he strips down, he leaps in and out of a full bathtub and smears himself in gore - there is a feeling that while this is an act of Olympic skill, it's also partly a freak show."
The updated production will be held at the newly opened Traf Transformed theatre at Trafalgar Studio in Whitehall, beginning in February next year (13), running from February 9 until April 27. The latest version has been re-written by Lloyd and is set in a dystopian separatist Scotland, which has been ravaged by war. Although little else has been revealed about the plot of the latest adaption, is is believed that the story will largely follow Shakespeare's original plot, with the setting and a few other details being changed for the new adaption.
After the show's run, McAvoy will be heading back to Hollywood to film the sequel for last years X Men: First Class, where he will reclaim his role as Professor Charles Xavier in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Don't worry if you want to see Macbeth after McAvoy calls it quits though, as the newly knighted Sir Kenneth Branagh will be teaming up with director Rob Ashford to bring their own interpretation of the Bard's most famous story at the Manchester International Festival in July.