Scottish actor James McAvoy won acclaim from critics and peers alike on Friday night (22Feb13) after debuting his portrayal of Macbeth in a new adaptation of William Shakespeare's most famous tragedy in London's West End.

The Wanted star took to the stage at the Trafalgar Studios in the British capital to play the doomed Celtic king for the first time in director Jamie Lloyd's dystopian reimagining of one of the Bard's most beloved plays.

The opening night attracted a star-studded audience, including MCAvoy's wife, Anne-Marie Duff, Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville and Prometheus actor Rafe Spall, who all rose as the audience gave the production a standing ovation as the curtain fell.

The critics were impressed as well - Paul Taylor from Britain's The Independent states that MCAvoy treated the crowd to "a gripping, no-holds-barred performance that will impress fans of his work in the X-Men movies and unlock for youthful newcomers to Shakespeare some of the poetic and psychological riches of the play".

Meanwhile, Charles Spencer from the Daily Telegraph writes, "(MCAvoy) proves a commanding MACbeth, and the relationship with his wife is powerfully caught."

The Scot's peers have also been full of praise, with Bonneville telling reporters after the performance, "James MCAvoy is a brilliant actor, full stop (period)."

Spall adds, "I thought it was extraordinary. Both James MCAvoy and Claire Foy gave timeless, peerless performances."

Singer Beverley Knight, funnyman Stephen Merchant and British star Mathew Horne were also in the audience.