Theatre review: Lady Macbeth: Unsex Me Here

To peel back and examine each layer of Company Chordelia's new work in a review this size is an impossibility. So rich in thought, detail and execution is it, you would need an entire thesis to do it justice.

Company Chordelia's Lady Macbeth: Unsex Me Here
Company Chordelia's Lady Macbeth: Unsex Me Here

Tron Theatre, Glasgow ****

In Lady Macbeth: Unsex Me Here, choreographer Kally Lloyd-Jones takes one of Shakespeare’s most famous female characters and delves deep inside her complex psyche. We see a woman longing to be more masculine, to facilitate her need to commit and provoke hideous acts. We see a mother mourning the loss of her infant (the play hints at a baby, yet the Macbeths have no children). And we see a fragile mind slowly unravel to the point of suicide.

All of which is inherent in Shakespeare’s original prose, but made all the more fascinating here by Lloyd-Jones’ decision to have not one but three dancers take on the role of Lady Macbeth - meaning her strength, frailty, determination and vulnerability are all given space to breathe through three very different yet equally expressive faces and bodies.

Most intriguing of all, the dancers are all male, which not only echoes Shakespearean era casting, but opens up endless questions about gender and what is deemed male or female behaviour.

As for the dancing, that too is worthy of close analysis. Created in collaboration with inclusive theatre company Solar Bear, the choreography has British Sign Language embedded throughout, adding yet another layer for those who read it, and powerful, emotionally-charged movement for all to enjoy.

Kelly Apter