Braving M******

Last Update: 13 November 2002

Source: This is London
12 November 2002

Braving M******
By Hugh Muir, Evening Standard

Click on the thumbnails to see larger pictures. A new browser window will open. Remember to close the window after you've looked at the pictures.

It's Macbeth - but not as we know it. Sean Bean is not what you would call an obvious choice to play the tormented king, while the selection of Samantha Bond - Miss Moneypenny in the new 007 film Die Another Day - as his scheming wife is innovative casting.

And as these first pictures from the production show, the pair exude a sexual chemistry rare even for a Shakespearean play.

For Bean, 43 - famous as an errant footballer in When Saturday Comes, Captain Sharpe and Boromir in The Lord Of The Rings - it is a second stab at Shakespeare. He played Romeo for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1986, three years after he graduated from Rada.
He says Macbeth has received a raw deal in the past. "I don't think he's a particularly evil man," he said. "His deeds are evil and what he does is evil but he's a man of conscience and of great courage and resolve. If there's one thing you have to admire it's his courage and his ability to pull himself up from the depths and carry on."

Bond, meanwhile, said the passion between the two is integral to the plot. "These two people need each other desperately, and feed each other desperately and love each other desperately. They absolutely could not function without each other. "

"The murder would not happen without her - but she wouldn't have gone for it without him. It's a very co-dependent relationship."

The pair have previously worked together in James Bond movie Goldeneye. And reports from the Albery Theatre suggest all is going smoothly before Thursday, when director Edward Hall's production will be unveiled to the critics.

That in itself is a relief because productions of Macbeth are supposed to be cursed. Actors traditionally never call it by name during rehearsal, referring to it instead as "the Scottish play".

Bond is involved in a campaign against Ken Livingstone's £5 congestion charge because she says it will put thousands of women theatre staff at risk of being stranded in the crime-ridden West End late at night.

Return to Macbeth Press Archives

Return to Main Macbeth Page

Return to The Compleat Sean Bean