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