Macbeth: Who is That Bloodied Man?, Teatr Biuro Podrozy

Venue 311, Old College Quad

No venue in Edinburgh is better suited to epic-scale physical theatre than the Old College Quad, and Eastern Europe has a tradition of arresting, highly visual productions. So the combination of one of Edinburgh’s most dramatic venues and the award-winning Polish company Teatr Biuro Podrozy is a perfect match.

One for Shakespeare purists this is not. Key characters have disappeared. Much of the dialogue has been removed, and what remains is sometimes difficult to understand due to the echoey venue and booming audio system. The setting has been updated to a quasi 20th Century, the characters menacing in Nazi-style regalia. But the overall sensory effect is impossible to deny – the witches teeter on stilts, taunting Macbeth with eerie shrieks and ghostly wails. Shadowy characters in leather masks and sweeping black coats pursue a child through a stark woodland. Macbeth clambers over a castle of scaffolding as flames flicker around him. Voices echo and hiss, music alternates between ethereal vocals and menacing rhythms.

Come to this production expecting anything resembling traditional Shakespeare and you may leave disappointed, but those seeking a visual feast and stimulation for all the senses will be well rewarded.

Edinburgh Fringe website has booking information here