Arts & Entertainment


Kip Williams. Photo: Grant Sparkes-Carroll

The classic tale of ambition, betrayal and brutality, Shakespeare’s Macbeth has been imagined onstage many times before. However, director Kip Williams of Sydney Theatre Company’s new adaptation has a keen determination to set it apart from the rest.

In a complete reversal of all theatre norms, the audience will sit on the stage itself while the play unfolds in the abandoned auditorium. But Williams’ innovative staging design is just one ambitious decision of many in his bold vision of Macbeth.

“When I’ve seen [Macbeth] done, I often find the play is rendered as a fable with an element of moral prescription,” says Williams.

For Williams, in characterising Macbeth as a villain, the audience begins to disassociate themselves with his behaviour by the end of the play. In Williams’ version, there’s an “open-ended identification with the terrible downfall of this individual,” he says.

Despite the blood and brutality of Macbeth, it’s a play Williams believes is relatable to all.

“We’re all forced with the quandary that our lives begin and end. And that’s it,” he says. “That’s the essential question of this play: what do you do in that limited amount of time? Do you behave morally or not? Do you act or wait for things to happen to you?” (MT)

Jul 21-Sep 27, Sydney Theatre, 22 Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, $50-109, (02) 9250 1777,



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