Great Performances: Season 39, Episode 3

Macbeth (6 Oct. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Biography | Drama | Music
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 626 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 2 critic

Macbeth, starring Patrick Stewart, comes to the small screen. Reinterpreted and relocated to an underground netherworld, the Shakespearean classic is heightened with an edgy style.

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Episode credited cast:
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Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Oliver Burch ...
Servant
Suzanne Burden ...
Ben Carpenter ...
Hugo Docking ...
Macduff Son
Lillian Dummer ...
Macduff Daughter
Madeleine Dummer ...
Macduff Daughter
...
Polly Frame ...
Witch / Gentlewoman
...
...
Malcolm
...
Witch
...
Bloody Sergeant
Christopher Knott ...
Old Siward
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Macbeth, starring Patrick Stewart, comes to the small screen. Reinterpreted and relocated to an underground netherworld, the Shakespearean classic is heightened with an edgy style.

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6 October 2010 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Patrick Stewart has twice played Claudius in Hamlet. Like Macbeth, Claudius kills the King to usurp his throne. See more »

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Version of Macbeth (1990) See more »

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A truly compelling watch, Patrick Stewart is brilliant
9 March 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I love Shakespeare, and have seen various adaptations of his plays. Macbeth was one of my first Shakespeares, and is a really powerful play in its own right not just in the language and some of the imagery but also in the characters and especially the story.

This Macbeth is more contemporary in its setting, but it is every bit as compelling as the play as it should be. In fact, this Macbeth is one of the most compelling adaptations of the play I've seen. Although contemporary(which didn't bother me at all by the way), the setting is still very well done. Some of it is truly beautiful to watch, but some of it is also appropriately bleak, and we have the skillful camera work and lighting to thank for that.

The story is still the compelling, gripping story I remember Macbeth by, and keeps the crucial elements in. Not only that, those crucial elements are very well done in their atmosphere, not just the encounters with the witches which are the epitome of creepiness but the mad scene which I don't always find effective but very much did here and the scene with Thane of Fife and Cumberland is also riveting. The dialogue is still wonderful and timed impeccably.

Rupert Goold's direction is very fine, and the soundtrack is also impressive with some really intentionally unsettling bits to it. Even some of the sound effects gave me shivers. The acting from Macbeth down to the smallest part is uniformly fantastic. Kate Fleetwood is absolutely transfixing being very beautiful, suitably evil and cold. Plus she really holds her own against Patrick Stewart, who is simply mesmerising as Macbeth. Not only in the charisma, but also the delivery of the lines, gestures and voice.

Overall, truly compelling and I was holding on to my seat for the entire duration. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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