A fearful, disorientated man, who has (from whose hand we do not know) received a vicious gash across his chest, is ushered by a doctor and a nurse into a huge room in a crumbling Victorian mental institution.
His every move is observed by medical staff, either from the huge-windowed viewing platform above his room, or via the ever- vigilant CCTV cameras that surround him. It is a frighteningly familiar, Orwellian vision.
So opens the National Theatre of Scotland's brave and ambitious one-man Macbeth, in which internationally acclaimed Scottish actor Alan Cumming plays every key character in Shakespeare's great tragedy. From the moment the medics close the security door on Cumming's unfortunate in-patient – with him asking them, "When shall we three meet again?" – the man's mental distress takes him, in the course of a brilliantly sustained hour and 45 minutes, from an appropriately Highland-accented Macbeth, through to a chillingly determined Lady M, a humorously foppish King Duncan, and an agonisingly bereft Macduff.
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