Elsie and Norm's Macbeth, Norwich

CHRISTOPHER SMITH Poor Will! Well, that's the view of Elsie and Norm. They're all for a bit of culture, but they don't think the Scottish Play is any great shakes...

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Poor Will! Well, that's the view of Elsie and Norm. They're all for a bit of culture, but they don't think the Scottish Play is any great shakes. Too many people, too many places, awful jokes and verse that makes it all worse – not to mention the bits that might shock the kiddies.

For the living room you need something a bit more digestible. So John Christopher-Wood has minced the tragedy into bite sized portions, and Judi Daykin and Tom Watson serve it up with expertly blended sauce. The result is a farce that is very easy to swallow.

Not content to double roles, the two actors multiply them, subtracting the boring bits and adding modern satire and contemporary criticism.

The odd thing is that it all comes together, because under it all lies the common factor of the well-known plot. The Bard gave that, and he can take what he gets in return.

In authentic Maddermarket style, director Rhett Davies makes virtues of simplicity, never pausing for a moment over plausibility but trusting a pair of expert players to cast the spell. They have confidence and the art of making themselves heard, whatever accents they are borrowing for the moment, while bare knees and a flash of tartan do quite enough to evoke Caledonia.

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t Weary of the weather, the organisers opted for the Waterloo Park Pavilion for this performance. They move on to Wensum Park, the Whiffler Theatre at the Castle, the Cow Tower and Kelling Heath.

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