Macbeth, Filter at the Tobacco Factory

revsmacTHE Filter “incarnation” of the Scottish Play started its life at the Tobacco Factory in Bedminster in the spring, and now returns for its first performances before setting off on a national tour.

Like all the company’s productions, it explores the interaction of music, text, movement and sound, and what better play than the tense and spectral Macbeth for the purpose.

With the audience ranged on three sides of the Tobacco Factory auditorium, the action takes place on four raised ramps with all sorts of electronic equipment sunk in the centre.

This Simon Reade adaptation of one of the shorter plays has stripped bare the action, retaining the “big speeches” and all the important moments, and setting them against a soundscape in which the “weird sisters” make weird noises with theremin, keyboards, gongs, beat boxes and more.

Filter co-founder Oliver Dimsdale and Poppy Miller are the Macbeths, a soldier and his wife not much given to ambition or the high life whose minds are opened and twisted by a vague promise of power, until they egg each other on to dreadful deeds.

Just a nudge, just a hint and the mind games start, until the nervy Macbeth and his steely wife realise their new ambition, and no life is safe that stands in their way.

This challenging reading, played in modern costume in the intimacy and immediacy of the Tobacco Factory, throws a famous story open for all comers.

It’s on until 20th September, and worth the journey.


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