The ticket sales, which opened in early February at the Tramway, have proved popular.
National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) Executive Producer Neil Murray said:- ”You always hope you are going to sell out. I think early indications are that it’s going to be very busy. Alan Cumming brings a little bit of stardust and the piece, Macbeth, in Scotland, is always an attractive title. But yeah, we’re very optimistic it’s going to do well.”
Macbeth is the first Shakespeare that NTS have staged in their six year history. The play reunites the burgeoning creative partnership of actor Alan Cumming and director John Tiffany, who previously worked together on the NTS production of The Bacchae which premiered at The Edinburgh International Festival in 2007.
Murray continued:- ”We wanted to have a really good reason for doing Shakespeare.” When Cumming approached the NTS with the idea that he would play all the characters in ‘The Scottish play’ it was the perfect marriage of performer and play for them. Murray added: “It had to be the right idea, it had to be the right person, it had to be the right time and all those things have conspired together, which is great.”
The NTS has chosen to premiere their radical reimagining of Macbeth at the Tramway, rather than in a more conventional theatre. This exciting and experimental South side space has seen many seminal productions staged there, including Peter Brook’s The Mahabharata in 1988. Murray said: “There’s something more exciting on this occasion to do it at that big, rough, kind of hewn space, maybe play with that, play with the dynamics of it.”
Macbeth will open this June and the tone of the production is big and bold. Murray said: “We’re not making a small intimate piece. It’s going to be a big statement in terms of the design of it and the space we’re using. Partly because the Tramway is a big wide performance space; you need to really fill and take ownership of that space.
“And then similarly, when we go to the Lincoln Centre in New York, that’s a very big stage, so although the piece is really Alan with two other performers as well, it’s not going to be populated by lots of actors. So the concept of the show has got to be really big and bold I think: that’s what we’re aiming to do.”
Cumming is now in training for this role. Murray said:- ”He’s excited and terrified in equal measure, I think. He’s getting himself very physically fit to do it. Macbeth is a demanding part if you do it as part of a big company, but when you do all that text yourself and all those roles, who knows what it will do to him. He’s kind of up for it. The great thing about Alan is he’s an amazingly brave and committed performer.”
The NTS Glasgow season of Macbeth starring Alan Cumming runs from 13 – 30 June, 2012 at the Tramway Theatre.