Presented in English
“MacBeth and Kurt Cobain and Lady Macbeth and Courtney Love inspire a pitch-black comedy about unbridled ambition, hunger for power and an addiction to intoxication and ecstasy. A triptych of hilarious interviews with the pop stars, a freaky fast-forward puppet version of Macbeth which results in a merciless symbiosis of the grunge couple Cobain-Love and the Thanes of Cawdor. A crazy journey into the world of two seriously troubled people who are trying to escape from their mental prison, as their loneliness howls through the room and the attempts to reverse the inevitable end are heart-breaking.” --description from Fringe Programme
By Dutch company Dood Paard
Set: Julian Maiwald
Sound: Wessel Schrik
Technical: Michael Yallop, Elmar Neudam
Cast includes: Gillis Biesheuvel and Manja Topper
Text: Gerardjan Rijnders, William Shakespeare, Courtney Love, Kurt Cobain, Janine Brogt English translation: Paul Evans
MacBain premiered in the Netherlands in 2015.
2016 Tour Dates and Information:
August 5-14, 2016, Summerhall, Edinburgh, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
September, 2016, Shanghai, China as part of the 2016 Festival of William Shakespeare. Organised by the Shanghai Theatre Academy, the International Theatre Institute and the Chinese Dramatists Society.
Fest review (2 stars): "The production's raucous, haunted toy shop aesthetic feels bizarrely at odds with Cobain's notoriously downbeat public appearances. And it doesn't find the sinister intensity at the heart of Macbeth, either. It's a hugely textually complex piece, but it feels bizarrely mindless: like toddlers trying so hard to smash two incompatible bricks of Duplo together that they break them both."
BroadwayBaby review (2 stars):
"some astute melding of text from Macbeth and Nirvana lyrics... A reduction on the running time and some more finesse to the first two sections could make a very engaging piece out of some quality raw material."
The Stage review (1 star):
"Shakespeare is not illuminated in any way by being filtered through Kurt and Courtney, nor do we learn anything about Kurt and Courtney through the Macbeth comparison." https://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/2016/450336/
Edinburgh Festivals Guide review (1 star):
“unfortunately sidelines Shakespeare’s dialogue and characters in favour of overacted performances from both leads and distracting smoke effects”
Theaterkrant review of the original production, Amsterdam (2015, 4 stars):
"Dankzij de sterke opbouw en het flexibele spel, van licht vreemd via hilarisch naar diep tragisch, neemt dit stuk de kijker mee. De koppeling van de twee verhalen werpt een interessant licht op de verschijnselen ambitie en zelfdestructie. Een licht dat ons erop wijst dat die twee schijnbaar conflicterende menselijke drijfveren ook heel dicht bij elkaar kunnen liggen."
Funding and Sponsorship:
In Scotland, supported by: Dutch embassy in London and presented in collaboration with Richard Jordan Productions, Big in Belgium, Theatre Royal Plymouth, and Summerhall.
In Shanghai, supported by: Consulate-General in Shanghai, Performing Arts Fund.
Photographer Sanne Peper