Gender swap in Arrows & Traps brutal Macbeth at New Wimbledon Studio


There’s never been a better year to get your fix of Shakespeare whether it’s gorging on the high-end productions at The Globe or RSC or enjoying modern adaptations, fringe offerings or even youth theatre productions. Everyone has a take and almost all will thrill you with their vibrancy and originality.

But something wicked this way comes with Ross McGregor’s adaptation of the fabled and bloody Macbeth (whisper that unlucky name quietly) set to cast its foul spells in the intimate surroundings of the New Wimbledon Studio Theatre later this month.

Macbeth and his ambitious wife embark upon a murderous journey of power, paranoia, betrayal and black magic when the prophecy of three witches proclaims that he is destined to become the King of Scotland.

Critically-acclaimed Arrows & Traps Theatre Company follows their recent five-star production of Anna Karenina with Shakespeare’s iconic, brutal and bloody cautionary tale about the dark side of ambition.

David Paisley (Holby City, Casualty, River City, Eastenders) plays the murderous Macbeth. David, has an extensive list of theatre credits to his name. In 2010 he completed a national tour playing Danny Cassidy in Over The Rainbow: The Eva Cassidy Story, and starred in Arrows & Traps award-nominated Anna Karenina.

david paisleycornelia baumann

The production also features Cornelia Baumann as Lady Macbeth, with Elle Banstead-Salim, Becky Black, Spencer Lee Osborne, Alex Payne, Pearce Sampson, Alex Stevens, Olivia Stott and Fleance Monique Williams.

Ross McGregor, who also directs the production said: “David Paisley has been kind enough to continue working with us after his stellar performance as Levin in Anna Karenina. We are thrilled to welcome him back, and he’s absolutely smashing it in rehearsals.

“This is a gender-equal production. In fact, there are more actresses in it than actors. Macbeth is normally a bit of a sausage fest in terms of casting, and so it is delightful to be able to offer so many roles to female actors.

“Both Duncan and Banquo have been made into female roles, and we’re loving the new opportunities and relationship impacts that these changes are making.

“The murder of Banquo is almost an entirely female staged spectacle of combat, and it’s a refreshing thing to be staging, even in an age when we have seen it all.

“Our movement director Will Pinchin has returned to work with the witches and ghosts for the show. He’s producing some incredible work in rehearsal, in-between working on some top secret stuff for the Ministry of Defence as a theatre practitioner for veterans undergoing PTSD – something that we are bringing out in Macbeth.

“Macbeth is our sixth show in two years, and we specialise in updating Shakespeare and other classics for a modern audience.

“Our company goal is to make commercial theatre that is as intelligent as it is entertaining. My hope is that Macbeth strikes this balance – both serving the beautiful text as well as being a rollercoaster ride”.

Macbeth plays at New Wimbledon Studio Theatre from June 14-July 9 with a special, one-off performance at on July 22 at the Globe Theatre, The Bedford, Balham.

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