Macbeth at the Cathedral


Macbeth by The Liverpool Shakespeare Festival inside and outside Liverpool Cathedral.

Why didn’t we go prepared? A small folding chair, a blanket, cushion, thermal vests, hooded jackets, gloves – all foolishly neglected. Still really enjoyed the show though. I was a but unsure after the first half which took place inside the Cathedral, in many ways its a great setting for the play but a theatre it aint. It was difficult to hear the voices, even the loudest parts suffered from the echoing round the vast building. And, as the seating is not tiered you need to be sure you’re not sitting behind someone tall.

I’m no expert on the theatre or Shakespeare but it all seemed very professional, well directed and acted, especially the leading roles. Macbeth was played by Simon Hedger and Lady Macbeth by Ruth Alexander-Rubin.

After the interval we all followed the guys with torches down into the depths of St James’ Gardens to the area around Huskissons monument. Those with chairs, blankets etc. set them out and faced the monument only to discover the most of the early action was taking place over to the left in front of the spring. This area was used to great effect as the witches circled round and figures appeared in unlikely places.
The fight scene near the end was a bit scary, yes I know they’re well trained actors but I still worry.

So the plan is, if its raining too much to perform outside then they do the whole thing inside but what do you do if the weather’s fine when you start performing outside and then it starts raining? At what point do you decide its too bad, call a halt and ask everyone to move indoors?
We nearly found out but after a couple of attempts the rain couldn’t break through the collective will-power of the actors and audience and went away.

On the whole an enjoyable and interesting experience which I’d recommend but go prepared and if you have no idea what Macbeth is about I suggest you read up first as you’ll miss a lot of the dialogue.

At Liverpool Cathedral until September 8 2007