Somewhere in this production lies Shakespeare’s tragedy: Almeida’s Macbeth reviewed

Yaël Farber’s Macbeth sets out to be a great work of art. The director crams the Almeida’s stage with suggestive props, glass panels, microphones, a wheelbarrow full of jackboots. The witches are not the usual vagrants or carbuncled mystics. These grim-looking ladies have expensive hairdos and nicely ironed shirts — like a panel of disgruntled academics at a tribunal. William Gaunt is a decrepit Duncan who looks ready to receive his telegram from the Queen. He can barely rise from his NHS wheelchair. But one wonders why this frail old chap had to be knifed to death? Much easier to smother him with a pillow and claim he expired naturally.

Even Adrian Lester’s sweetness, grace and nobility can’t rescue Almeida’s Hymn

The Almeida is fighting back against lockdown with a sprawling family drama about two long-lost siblings. Adrian Lester plays Gilbert Jones, a successful entrepreneur, who runs a clothing business and a stationery shop in London. At his dad’s funeral he meets his half-brother, Benny (Danny Sapani), who was brought up in care but is now married with kids. The two bros become pals. They meet for salads at coffee shops where they swap news about each other’s families. They visit the gym and do stretching exercises while discussing their diets and their problems finding spaces to park. Benny, who appears to be a fitness coach, takes charge of these low-energy