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Chaos and war in sequel to Macbeth

Glasgow actress Siobhan Redmond plays Gruach - or Lady Macbeth in a sequel to one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies.

Siobhan Redmond
Siobhan Redmond

SIOBHAN Redmond is back for the third time playing the leading lady in a sequel to one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies.

Dunsinane takes place after the bloody final battle which brings the Bard’s play Macbeth to a close.

The mad king himself is death and those who remain are trying to restore peace and sanity to a shattered land.

Glasgow actress Redmond plays Gruach - or Lady Macbeth - who in this version of events has survived her husband’s downfall.

“It’s [writer] David Greig’s concession to the superstition that it’s unlucky to say Macbeth. So he’s referred to only as the Tyrant and she’s Gruach.

“You don’t need to know the original story. If you do then there will be a few little references you appreciate, but it stands alone.”

This is the second time Redmond has returned to the role - she was in the play’s original run and is back for the new touring production.

“I think it’s become a modern classic already, from the first page I knew it was something special.

“What will surprise people is that there are some funny moments. Whereas the original play isn’t known for its jollity.”

She said one of the attractions of the role was just how relevant the story was today.

“It’s not just about the lords and ladies, it’s about  the young men who are away from home for the first time fighting in a war that is more complicated than they know.

“What’s interesting is that every time we perform this there’s something happening somewhere in the world that very week that seems so relevant.”

While the story of warfare  and a clash between nations would seem to strike a chord around the world, the actress admits there are nonetheless differences in the way some audiences react.

“There are lots of jokes about the Scots and when we do them up here in Scotland people laugh out loud.

“In England, they’re rather more polite and seem a bit uncertain about whether they should find it funny or not. It’s that old thing that we can say it about ourselves!”

Dunsinane plays the Birmingham Rep from September 24-28. Tickets available on 0121 236 4455

 

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