A powerhouse cast joins international star Jai Courtney (Suicide Squad) and director Simon Phillips in a new Melbourne Theatre Company production of Macbeth, Shakespeare’s searing tragedy of ambition, betrayal and murder.
Geraldine Hakewill (Wanted) takes on the role of Lady Macbeth, the mastermind behind the scheming couple’s rise to power, alongside esteemed actors Rodney Afif (Hotel Mumbai), Shareena Clanton (Wentworth) Kamil Ellis (Nowhere Boys), Tom Hobbs (Winners & Losers), Kevin Hofbauer (Offspring), Khisraw Jones-Shukoor (A Little Resistance), Robert Menzies (The Weir), Jane Montgomery Griffiths (Wit), Dan Spielman (The Code) and Dylan Watson (Jumpy) Lachlan Woods (Molly).
Opening on Friday 9 June at Southbank Theatre, The Sumner, Director Simon Phillips’ fearsome reinterpretation of Macbeth completes a trilogy of unforgettable Shakespearian productions for MTC, following his highly acclaimed productions of Richard III and Hamlet.
Simon Phillips said, ‘I’m so delighted to be returning to the Company with a Shakespeare – my greatest theatrical passion. This is probably his most visceral play – it operates on the head and the heart in equal measure, inviting the audience into the irrational world of its anti-hero. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s relationship is so superbly elucidated and conceived, and the gender politics that go on are totally contemporary. They defy time, they’re so strongly drawn. I’m particularly excited to work with Jai and Geraldine – and indeed all these terrific actors– to bring these seminal roles to life. The results will hopefully be compelling, chilling and spasmodically heart-rending.’
In the aftershock of battle, flushed with victory, two soldiers have a bizarre encounter. Three unearthly women predict for them unimaginable greatness. But when the first of their prophecies come true, one of them dares to imagine, sparking the reign of Shakespeare’s most tormented tyrant. Driven to increasing horror in attempts to cover their tracks and second-guess rivals, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth sink deeper and deeper into isolation and madness.
Internationally renowned director Simon Phillips was MTC’s Artistic Director from 2000–2011. Over his 30 year history with the Company he has directed an impressive number of productions, with his recent MTC credits including North by Northwest, Pennsylvania Avenue, The Importanceof Being Earnest, Hamlet, Songs for Nobodies, Richard III, The Drowsy Chaperone and August: Osage Country. In 2015 Simon directed the award-winning Australian musical Ladies in Black for Queensland Theatre which went on to have a highly successful season with MTC in 2016, followed by a commercial tour in 2017. Over his illustrious career Simon has also worked for many other arts organisations nationally and internationally including the State Theatre Company of South Australia, where he was Artistic Director from 1990–1993. On the commercial stage, his productions include The 2016 Australian tour of The Beast as well as Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the Musical; Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies, and Eat Pray Laugh – Barry Humphries’s farewell tour, all of which have had various international seasons. Simon has won seven Green Room Awards and five Helpmann Awards.
Cast Jai Courtney (Macbeth), Geraldine Hakewill (Lady Macbeth), Rodney Afif (Ross), Shareena Clanton (Lady Macduff/Witch 2), Kamil Ellis (Fleance/Witch 3), Tom Hobbs (Malcolm), Kevin Hofbauer (Banquo), Robert Menzies (Duncan/Porter) Jane Montgomery Griffiths (Witch 1/Nurse), Dan Spielman (Macduff), Dylan Watson (Donalbain/Seyton), Lachlan Woods (Lennox)
Director Simon Phillips
Set Designer Shaun Gurton
Costume Designer Esther Marie Hayes
Lighting Designer Nick Schlieper
Composer Ian McDonald
Voice Coach Leith McPherson
Associate Director Dean Bryant
5 June – 15 July
Friday 9 June, 8pm
Southbank Theatre, The Sumner
On sale now
03 8688 0800