Alan Cumming portrait whets the appetite for new staging of Macbeth

I DON’T think I’m being rude in saying that I suspect Alan Cumming is not an actor who takes much persuading when it comes to photo shoots.

If you don’t believe me, click on the “Look at Alan” button on his website and see for yourself. Buttocks, basques and bareness aplenty. The collection is a treasure trove of images, personas and playfulness that document Cumming’s riotous career. And now there’s a new portrait (with more to follow apparently) to add to this fine collection.

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With kohl-heavy eyes and whitened skin, a trickle of blood running from his nose, Cumming stares intensely, head tipped forward, hair falling in tangles around his face in the image. Taken by celebrated Edinburgh-born photographer Albert Watson (the man who photographed Hitchcock holding a dead goose with a ribbon round its neck for the Christmas issue of Harper’s Bazaar in 1973) the picture is to whet our appetites for the National Theatre of Scotland’s radical reimagining of Macbeth, starring Cumming and directed by John Tiffany, which arrives at Tramway in June. Job done, I’d say.