MACBETH (AN UNDOING)

“Lady Macbeth is a fascinating figure, both inside and outside the play…Zinnie Harris is… setting out to undo centuries of misogyny and marginalization…” - (Sara Holdren) Vulture/New York Magazine

“★★★★★ A thrilling reimagining” - Scotland's The Herald

“★★★★ Audacious” - The Guardian

“Lady Macbeth and Macbeth's relationship feels sexy, intense, communicative, modern. They’re partners, even soulmates, and what they do not only throws a country into turmoil; it destroys them.” - (Sara Holdren) Vulture/New York Magazine

“★★★★” - The Telegraph

“★★★★ Any Shakespeare lover fascinated by the inner lives of the Bard’s women should take an interest.” - London's Time & Leisure

“Fascinating... restlessly intelligent.” - Financial Times

“Strong performances.” - Washington Post

“Nicole Cooper is terrific: her Lady Macbeth is funny, sensual, proud and smart.” - Financial Times

“Harris has created a sort of braided text, intertwining her own writing and Shakespeare’s, which deserves credit for gutsiness and ambition.” - (Sara Holdren) Vulture/New York Magazine

“Emmanuella Cole is great as a shrewd Lady Macduff. ” - Financial Times

“Adam Best's nuanced performance...” - New York Sun

“The shape-shifting Liz Kettle is wonderful and very unnerving.” - Financial Times

“The Royal Lyceum’s production of Macbeth (an undoing) at TFANA is a promising start to a reciprocal partnership, The Shakespeare Exchange, between Royal Lyceum and Theatre for a New Audience. ” - Berkshire Fine Arts

TFANA in association with Rose Theatre, London
Present
Macbeth (an undoing)
A Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh Production
Written and Directed by Zinnie Harris
After William Shakespeare
April 5 – May 4, 2024

Running time: 2 hours and 35 minutes, including one intermission

In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth begins the play as the driving force who ruthlessly plans and implements regicide. But she soon disappears from the action and re-emerges in the last Act, guilt-ridden, hallucinating and tormented by sleep deprivation. What happened? Zinnie Harris imagines what might be the gaps in Shakespeare’s story, undoing the play as we know it and retelling it with Lady Macbeth at its center.

As Harris recently told BBC’s Start the Week, “The shame of the Shakespeare in a way is we lose one half of the marriage; we don’t see that through. I wanted to continue that journey by putting my feet in Lady Macbeth’s shoes and walking through the tale from her perspective.

Setting the play in 1930s Scotland during an economic depression and the pre-World War II rise of fascism, Harris incorporates Shakespeare’s original text both as written and reassigned to other characters, as well as integrating her own language. She also introduces class into the action in assertive ways, as Shakespeare’s play mostly excludes Scotland’s underclass.

Founding Artistic Director Jeffrey Horowitz observes, “As noted by scholar Emma King, the provenance of Lady Macbeth’s rage and guilt, murder and motherhood, masculine and feminine drives stretch back to Greek drama and characters such as Clytemnestra, Medea, and Orestes (who, like Lady Macbeth, is haunted by nightmares and cannot sleep). Zinnie Harris is not reclaiming Shakespeare’s play for any group. She is exploring the myth behind Lady Macbeth and questioning if the myth might take a different track. Is Lady Macbeth doomed and damned because she disrupts the patriarchy in the play? Must this cycle repeat?”

When Macbeth (an undoing) had its world premiere February 2023 at the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, The Guardian praised its “audacious conjuring of Shakespeare’s Macbeth” and the “superb” Nicole Cooper as Lady Macbeth along with her costar Adam Best in the title role. With its UK company led by Cooper and Best, the production made its London premiere at the Rose Theatre March 2024.

Featuring Adam Best, Emmanuella Cole, Nicole Cooper, Liz Kettle, Thierry Mabonga, Marc Mackinnon, Taqi Nazeer, Star Penders, James Robinson, Laurie Scott

Zinnie Harris, Associate Artistic Director, Royal Lyceum, is a multi-award-winning playwright, screenwriter and theatre director. She first came to prominence in 2000 with her early play Further Than the Furthest Thing (Tron Theatre / Royal National Theatre) which won the Peggy Ramsay Playwriting Award, the John Whiting Award, and a Fringe First Award and has now been translated and performed all over the world.

Her recent plays include The Duchess (of Malfi) (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Citizens Theatre); Meet Me at Dawn (Traverse Theatre / Edinburgh International Festival); This Restless House, three new plays based on Aeschylus’ Oresteia (Citizens Theatre / National Theatre of Scotland / Edinburgh International Festival), winner of Best New Play at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2016 and shortlisted for Susan Smith Blackburn Award and UK Theatre Awards Best New Play; and How to Hold Your Breath (Royal Court Theatre), winner of the Berwin Lee Award 2015.

Her adaptations for the stage include Rhinoceros (Edinburgh International Festival), A Doll’s House (Donmar Warehouse), Master Builder (West Yorkshire Playhouse), and Miss Julie (National Theatre of Scotland).

Her screen writing includes two 90-minute dramas for Channel 4 (Richard Is My Boyfriend and Born with Two Mothers), and episodes for the BBC1 Drama Spooks. She was lead writer and Series Creator for the BBC1 Agatha Christie adaption Partners in Crime.

As a theatre director she has directed numerous main stage productions for the RSC, the Traverse Theatre, Royal Lyceum Theatre, and the Tron theatre. She won Best Director for the CATS 2017 for her direction of Caryl Churchill’s A Number at the Lyceum Theatre and recently directed Scent of Roses at the Lyceum Theatre. She is Professor of Playwriting and Screenwriting at the University of St. Andrews.

Tom Piper, Set Designer
Alex Berry, Costume Designer
Lizzie Powell, Lighting Designer
Pippa Murphy, Sound Designer
Oğuz Kaplangi, Composer
Emily Jane Boyle, Movement Director
Kaitlin Howard, Fight & Intimacy Director
Frances Poet, Dramaturg
Simone Pereira Hind (CDG) & Anna Dawson, Casting Directors
Hannah Roberts, Producer
Claire Williamson, Company Stage Manager
Shane Schnetzler, Stage Manager
Jessica Ward, Deputy Stage Manager
Katy Steele, Assistant Stage Manager
Morag Pirrie, Costume Supervisor
Maria Chirca, Lighting Associate
Amir Sherhan, Sound Supervisor
Ola Szczygiel, Hair & Makeup Consultant
Niall Black, Production Manager

Design by Paul Davis Studio / Mo Hinojosa

Beginning with TFANA’s 2023-24 season, face masks for audiences are encouraged, but not required.



Support for Macbeth (an undoing) is provided by Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.


 

     

Deloitte and Bloomberg Philanthropies are the 2023-2024 Season Sponsors.

Principal support for Theatre for a New Audience’s season and programs is provided by the Bay and Paul Foundations, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Jerome L. Greene Foundation Fund in the New York Community Trust, The SHS Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and The Thompson Family Foundation.

Theatre for a New Audience’s season and programs are also made possible, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities; Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.