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Written by William Shakespeare
Performed in English

Macbeth is the great tragedy of the imagination. A man and a woman, bound together in ambition, are destroyed in a welter of blood. Cheek by Jowl’s ensemble conjures Shakespeare’s world of witchcraft, ghosts and apparitions in an hallucinatory experience of sound and shadow. 

Produced by Cheek by Jowl in a co-production with barbicanbite10; Les Gémeaux / Sceaux / Scène Nationale; Koninklijke Schouwburg, The Hague; Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg; Théâtre du Nord, Lille and Théâtre de Namur/Centre dramatique.

The first performance of Macbeth was at Theatre de Namur, Belgium on 9th September 2009.

“One of the greatest events of the international theatre season”

El Pais
Cast and creative team


Will KeenMacbeth
Anastasia HilleLady Macbeth
David CavesMacduff
David CollingsDuncan/Scottish Doctor
Kelly HottenPorter/Lady Macduff
Orlando JamesMalcolm
Ryan KiggellBanquo
Vincent EnderbyThane
Jake FairbrotherThane
Nicholas GoodeThane
Greg KolpakchiThane
Edmund WisemanThane

Creative Team

DirectorDeclan Donnellan
DesignerNick Ormerod
Associate and Movement DirectorJane Gibson
Lighting DesignerJudith Greenwood
ComposerCatherine Jayes
Sound DesignerHelen Atkinson
Assistant DirectorOwen Horsley
Casting DirectorSiobhan Bracke
Company Voice WorkPatsy Rodenburg
Fight DirectorJonathan Waller
Technical DirectorSimon Bourne
Costume SupervisorAngie Burns
Technical Stage ManagerDougie Wilson
Company Stage ManagerRichard Llewelyn
Deputy Stage ManagerClare Loxley
Production LightingRoss Corbett
Production SoundTim Middleton
Wardrobe ManagerSimon Anthony Wells
Assistant Stage ManagerRhiannon Harper
Previous performances

Previous Performances

5–16 April 2011New York, BAM, USA
22–23 March 2011Budapest, National Theatre, Hungary
9–12 March 2011Hong Kong, Hong Kong Festival, Hong Kong
23–26 February 2011Cambridge, Cambridge Arts Theatre, UK
19–22 May 2010Lille, Théâtre du Nord, France
11–15 May 2010Brighton, Theatre Royal, UK
21–24 April 2010Milan, Piccolo Teatro, Italy
18 March–10 April 2010London, Barbican, UK
10–13 March 2010The Hague, De Koninklijke Schouwburg, Netherlands
3–6 March 2010Théâtre de Lyon, Célestins, Lyon, France
25–27 February 2010Berlin, HAU1, Germany
3–21 February 2010Sceaux, Les Gémeaux, Paris, France
1–4 October 2009Girona, Teatro de Salt, Spain
22–26 September 2009Namur, Théâtre de Namur, Belgium
1987–1988See also – Cheek by Jowl’s 1987–1988 production of Macbeth


“By the power of paradox and strong theatrical suggestion, Declan Donnellan’s superb Cheek by Jowl version of Macbeth has a terrible and transfixing presence…Like a cross between psychodrama and fierce, fluid modern dance, the production creates a creepily variable sense of time.”

Paul Taylor, The Independent

“A darkly splendid Macbeth. Twelve magnificent British actors, who all share the same feeling for language, the same physical commitment, and the same finely-honed sense of space, that reminds us what theatre is… In Nick Ormerod’s very open set, which is beautiful in its simplicity, Donnellan arranges the tragedy in movements, like a piece of music. It is dazzling, and every performance is intelligent and subtle.”

Armelle Héliot, Le Figaro

“Austere and concise, pure wonderwork. One of the greatest events of the international theatre season”

Marcos Ordoñez, El País

“Language and movement are paramount. More than in any other Cheek by Jowl production, the choral and choreographic elements are raised to new levels. The ‘poetry of evil’ spreads its wings like a macabre ballet.”

Philip Tirard, La Libre Belgique

“A pure, yet tough take on Shakespeare, stunning! This fresh take on Macbeth is seminal; Declan Donnellan is a fabulous director. With virtually no set and in contemporary costume, the actors, with their sheer presence, create a startling realism. A must-see.”

Michèle Friche, Le Soir
Production photo
Photograph: Johan Persson
Production photo
Photograph: Johan Persson
Production photo
Photograph: Johan Persson

“A darkly splendid Macbeth”

Le Figaro

Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?

Act V, scene i

I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’er leaps itself And falls on the other

Act I, scene vii

O horror, horror, horror! Tongue nor heart Cannot conceive nor name thee!

Act II, scene iii

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