Redcliffe Caves, Bristol

The crushing, oppressive chill of Macbeth’s world is captured magnificently in these red stone, dimly lit caves. The atmosphere is electric the audience are guided through the maze of tunnels and spaces revealing one of the most inspired productions in recent years.

Hannah Drake directing has kept the pace sharp and slick ensuring a fresh approach to the classic speeches. There is a lightness of touch that breathes great energy and life into the text, subtle changes of focus create a hypnotic world that feels completely new. Add into the heady atmosphere some beautifully haunting music from Ellie Showering and an inspired design from Sarah Warren, lashings of blood, impressive fight scenes and the various appearances and noises of the unnerving “weird sisters” it is simply a sensory feast.

The young cast are excellent. Macbeth’s descent into chaos is expertly captured by Ben Crispin. Nicola Stuart- Hill as Lady Macbeth is electrifying, their scenes together have huge tension and charge; their downfall hard to bear.

The space gives great opportunity to surprise the captive audience. The company play many roles with great ease. They morph in and out of the shadows whilst the candle light flickers across the walls of the medieval great hall setting, this alone is worthy of a painting. Shakespeare has rarely been more exciting. Insane Root has set the bar high and clearly is in the business of making outstanding theatre. Not to be missed.

 **** (4 Stars)

Petra Schofield