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03 Jul Dunsinane

I was fortunate enough to spend Saturday evening at the RSC watching the final night of David Greig’s intriguing play Dunsinane. Set in 11th century Scotland the story picks up where Shakespeare’s Macbeth ended-it is in effect a modern day sequel to Macbeth. In Greig’s thought provoking play, Lady Macbeth has survived and is now a clear focus for rebellion and dissent as she tries to assert her own son’s claim to the throne against the incumbent King Malcolm. The English army, commanded by Siward, has been sent into this war torn, hostile Scottish landscape to help to restore peace and to support Malcolm’s rule as he tries to assert his authority over the complex web of different political Scottish clans.  Siward’s own son has been killed in the conflict-his own pain and suffering is visible from the very start of the play but this does not prevent him from committing his own act of terrible revenge against Lady Macbeth. Siward and the English forces are terribly out of their depth-their actions increasing the bloodshed and preventing any chance of lasting peace in this troubled Medieval Scottish landscape. And of course as we watched the play it became apparent that there were many parallels with the modern day world-the young soldiers could so easily be representative of soldiers serving in Afghanistan. This was a moving, at times humorous, hard hitting play which certainly lived up to expectations.

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