Spurred on by an eerie prophecy of the power he could gain if he were King, Macbeth, an army general, murders Duncan, the King of Scotland, and takes the throne. However, his guilt, and that of his wife, may prove to be their undoing.
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Jane Lapotaire is a superb Lady Macbeth, as those who've seen her on stage would expect. Although the jury is often out on Nicol Williamson's acting in anything, I think he is brilliant in this - particularly in the banquet scene where Banquo's ghost returns. I'd probably bracket him with Ian McKellen when it comes to TV movie portrayals of what is essentially the portrait of a usurper gone mad.
It has to be said though that the towering presence of these two actors somewhat overshadow the others in the cast. Special mention must go to Ian Hogg as Banquo, and the late Tony Doyle as Macduff, however, as they are both excellent.
Jack Gold's production looks done either on the cheap, or in a minimalist way (or both!) but that would be my only quibble. This is my favourite of the BBC Shakespeares. Let's hope the whole series of them will be made available on video or DVD widely in the UK again soon.
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