Written by William Shakespeare

14th June - 22nd July 2016

New Wimbledon Studio & Theatre N16


Adapted & Directed by:  Ross McGregor

Movement Director: Will Pinchin

Dance Choreography: Nancy Kettle

Fight Direction: Alex Payne

Lighting Design: Beth Gibbs

Casting Assistants: Will Mytum, Alex Payne, Spencer Lee Osborne & Cornelia Baumann

Sound Design & Videography: Gareth Kearns

Production Photography: Davor Tovarlaza

Publicity Photography: Beth Gibbs


Jean Apps as Queen Duncan

Becky Black as Banquo

Elle Banstead-Salim as First Witch, Murderer & Lady Macduff

Cornelia Baumann as Lady Macbeth

David Paisley as Macbeth

Alex Payne as Macduff

Spencer Lee Osborne as Ross / Soldier

Pearce Sampson as Lennox / Porter

Alex Stevens as Malcolm

Olivia Stott as Witch / Murderer / Boy

Monique Williams as Witch / Fleance / Servant



"Arrows and Traps’s Macbeth is a work of effortless energy and unending style. It is accessible, revitalised and thought-provoking. It is the story of Macbeth and the iconic witches with a new, upgraded edge, which still retains the elaborate intensity of Shakespeare’s text.

"Director Ross McGregor, in line with his aim to reimagine classics, tweaks the relationship between the Macbeths. But this slight tweak has a profound effect on not only the dynamic between the married couple, but also the play as a whole and, indeed, Macbeth’s character arc. This production focuses on Macbeth as the struggling, infertile husband who is desperate to please his unhappy wife with a child.

"This alteration is a surprise; and, for lovers of Shakespeare’s text, it is an unwelcome one. At first, it seems that there is a spark missing from Macbeth’s performance, portrayed by David Paisley. The legacy of the play is a weighty one, and it seemed that Paisley has suffered from its burden. Yet it soon becomes clear that Macbeth does not simply slip, undetected, beneath the radar of the audience. Instead, he is engineering a change to the play in a far subtler way. The tweak in the play transforms the couple from unsympathetic plotters who share in the murder of their monarch. It transforms the play from a bloody tragedy to a love story. It transforms Macbeth from a weak, hubristic Prometheus to a desperate, doting husband. It is monumental. And, frankly, it’s a touch of genius.

The most successful outcome of this change is certainly Lady Macbeth. Played by Cornelia Baumann, this Lady Macbeth is as I have never seen. She is genuine, dynamic, strong. She cannot be caged into the category of the unfeeling, cold, witch-like shrew that many have banished her into. Baumann has made Lady Macbeth real. Suddenly, there is an unbreakable bond between her and the audience that carries throughout the play; she is realistic in her fear, unwavering in her ambition, but admirable in her bravery. Her relationship with Macbeth begins tenderly, but with fraught tensions underlying. The descent of their relationship, which ends in rags and tatters, is the most organic and believable I have seen. It is a true masterpiece of subtle reinvention and reinterpretation. And Baumann is its unforgettable shining star.

"One of McGregor’s triumphs with this production is the gender equal casting, the most notable being Becky Black as Macbeth’s right-hand man, Banquo. Black is a formidable presence onstage; from the choreographed fight scenes to the chilling reveal of Duncan’s ghost, she is an absolute, adaptable delight.

Arrows and Traps’s Macbeth is thrilling and utterly impactful, new and imaginative without ruining the pure force behind Shakespeare’s text. It is a lesson in how to breathe life into a traditional play without overstepping its bounds."


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