Dunsinane

2013-9-14

This play looks at what happens in Scotland after the death of Macbeth. It's not pretty. As internecine conflict erupts amongst the Scottish tribes, Englishman Siward who has been dispatched to bring order finds himself in a jam. Jam made from blood! The play can basically be taken as an extended allegory for the West's interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It's an entertaining play with plenty of action and some comedy provided by the English soldiers occupying Helmand - I mean Scotland. There are also some interesting questions explored, particularly by Malcolm, as to whether man is naturally in a state of war or a state of peace. What is somewhat surprising, given that this is a production from the National Theatre of Scotland, is that there isn't much of an argument put forward that the Scots should be allowed to do as they please. Perhaps there is an assumption that everyone is already on board with the idea of national self-determination and therefore if a nation wants to engage in murder and blood feuds, they have a right to do so. However, I am not sure that this argument has been completely won, and Dunsinane doesn't really do enough to counter those (probably not theatre goers) who suggest that the Middle East might best be turned into a giant parking lot.

_Dunsinane is currently on tour, and has just finished a run at the Theatre Royal in Bath._


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