Review: Macbeth: Who Is That Bloodied Man? Old College Quad, South Bridge

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POLISH company Biuro Podrozy return with their outdoor production of Macbeth, full of fire and sound and fury.

****

The original play’s medieval Scottish setting is swapped for a post-apocalyptic wasteland patrolled by motorcycle gangs, a kind of Mad Maxbeth.

These bikes are driven at speed around Old College Quad, mere inches from the audience. Combined with stilt-walking, wailing music and rusted metal contraptions, Who Is That Bloodied Man? resembles the particularly nightmarish creation of a heat- oppressed brain.

What little subtlety exists in Shakespeare’s shlockiest work has been stripped out or amped up.

Biuro Podrozy give us pure spectacle – exciting, dangerous and not a little bonkers. The sturm und drang is such that noises overheard from the city outside, including sirens and the Tattoo fireworks, integrate seamlessly.

This is more an experience than a piece of theatre. Besides the diesel fumes, there is always something burning on stage, leaving the audience coughing and spluttering. Enjoy this concentrated dose of Macbeth’s suffocating atmosphere . . . and a lungful of acrid smoke.

Until Monday