London's Macbeth Gathers Momentum

News   London's Macbeth Gathers Momentum

Macbeth arrives at the Albery on Nov. 7, opens on Nov. 14 and runs to Feb. 1, 2003.

Sean Bean's return to the stage after a decade in films and television, in a role ideally suited to his brooding sexuality, combined with the good looks and icy sexual appeal of his co-star Samantha Bond, have made Edward Hall's production of Macbeth a box-office success despite very little high-profile advertising in advance of the opening.

The Breath of Life at the Haymarket has also achieved staggering sales despite a minimum of publicity, thanks to the pulling power of Britain's two most distinguished actresses, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.

Sean Bean and Samantha Bond, both well-known on television and film (though Bond also had a major stage success in the late 1990's with David Hare's Amy's View, in which she co-starred with Dame Judi Dench), seem to have attracted a great deal of public interest simply by the fact of their casting.

It's never wise to tempt fate when it comes to Macbeth but the advance signs for a great production of this popular, powerful, but difficult play are already there.

—By Paul Webb Theatrenow