Macbeth at the Kings Theatre, Southsea

Grimm's Fairy Tales for Young and Old. Hal Darling as The Wolf, Emily Wells as Little Red Riding Hood. Photo by Paul Inskip

REVIEW: Grimm’s Tales For Young and Old by Chichester Festival Youth Theatre

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I was expecting a production full of pace, passion and ideas. Instead, Icarus Theatre Collective’s Macbeth disappointingly features lots of shouting, a bland porter and a flimsy Lady Macbeth in a show whose weaknesses outweigh its strengths.

It starts well - with a dynamic fight sequence that seems to populate the stage with dozens of combatants despite a cast of only seven. Joel Gorf as Macbeth has the perfect physical presence and voice to embody the warrior king, but he is as guilty as the rest of bellowing lines, when in fact his quieter moments are more engaging.

There are some highlights: the clever creation of the banquet table from a red drape, the chilling murder of Macduff’s family, and the large scarlet gashes appearing in the set that signify the growing body count in the play. But the overall effect is marred by some strange directorial decisions.

It is great to see The Kings Theatre supporting young and exciting companies, but in this illustrious venue it felt like Icarus, like their mythical namesake, are over-reaching.