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Norwich theatre company marks its 20th anniversary with Macbeth production

PUBLISHED: 13:36 05 November 2014 | UPDATED: 13:36 05 November 2014

Macbeth by Norwich-based Crude Apache Theatre Company.

Macbeth by Norwich-based Crude Apache Theatre Company.

Robert Eke

A Norwich theatre company is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a new production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Back in 1994 The Scottish Play was the first show the company had ever performed and it was presented in the Rotunda at Norwich Castle. Twenty years on, many of the original cast are still involved in the company and the new production opens today at Dragon Hall, in Norwich.

Jo Edye, who played Macduff in the 1994 version, is directing the 2014 production of the Shakespearean tragedy.

Set in the 11th century, the play sees the scheming, murderous title character set out to realise the witches’ prediction that he will become King of Scotland. As both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth descend into further crime, madness and paranoia they are often considered villains but Mr Edye has a different view.

He said: “At the time competing clans were in constant struggles for control. Yes the Macbeths committed multiple murders in a ruthlessly treacherous bid to first seize power and then maintain it, but they really were only typical of a period steeped in violence and murder. People would literally do anything to achieve their goals and human life was cheap and disposable.

“Shakespeare understood this and this is demonstrated in the complex characterisation in the play.”

The production aims to enhance the creepy, supernatural feel of the play with sinister, crow-like witches and a darkly dramatic setting along with a haunting soundscape by Tim Lane.

In the last 20 years Crude Apache has presented more than 50 shows, from Shakespeare and Chekhov classics to new plays written by the company’s members.

• Macbeth opens tonight at Dragon Hall and runs until November 15. Tickets £9 (concs £6). For details of performance dates and times and to book call 01603 663922 or visit www.dragonhall.org

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