Shakespeare’s Globe Macbeth Review

Macbeth, directed by Sarah Frankcom, at Shakespeare’s Globe marks the 16th anniversary of the Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank project which provides over 20,000 free tickets to state school students in London and Birmingham. 

To coincide with this year’s performances, eligible schools also receive free workshops for students, free CPD (continuing professional development) for teachers, and award-winning free online resources to support the teaching and studying of Shakespeare plays in the GCSE and A-Level curriculum.

The story 

On a deserted battlefield, in the aftermath of a bloody war, three witches appear to a loyal warrior Macbeth. They tell his fortune and predict his future. This startling encounter unleashes a bloody chain of events that will see him crowned king and use any means necessary to hold on to his power, as the world collapses around him.? As young people continue to ask big questions about their future, what a better play to explore how personal ambition and the abuse of power can corrupt the individual and destroy nations.

The verdict

I enjoyed this performance of Macbeth particularly because it was shortened to 90 minutes (instead of the usual 3 hours) and slightly simplified for younger audiences. Shakespeare is complex and seeing it in a more digestible version helped myself and the audiences understand him better. The overall experience was magical even when I did not understand all lines. Shakespeare’s language is very poetic and although it can be difficult at first, its musicality resonates with my soul. 

This production of Macbeth marks Sarah Frankcom’s directorial return following her tenure as Artistic Director of LAMDA. Macbeth is a full-scale, gripping, 90-minute production in the Globe Theatre created specifically for young people, but is also a perfect introduction to Shakespeare for all ages and stages.

This Globe project has given so many schools an invaluable way to bring Shakespeare alive for their students. A significant proportion of young people in this country rely entirely on their school for access to the arts. 

With all GCSE students in the UK required to study at least one of Shakespeare’s text – this year it’s Macbeth’s turn – it’s critical for young people to be able to get to grips with the complex language, characters and themes. To come out of the classroom and be fully immersed in live theatre at the Globe offers students opportunity to experience performances the way Shakespeare wrote his plays for.

Productions exclusively for schools will run from 3-30 March 2022 and public performances from 12 March-16 April 2022. 

Shakespeare resources

Interview with William Shakespeare by time travelling child reporter Diego

Shakespeare Week: Life back then – A day with William Shakespeare in Stratford Upon Avon – Time-travelling child reporter goes back to 1599 to meet the famous playwright

Shakespeare’s birth 450th anniversary books & movies

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