At Berkeley Rep.

For modern audiences, there are few surprises in Macbeth, Shakespeare’s study of the corrosive nature of unchecked ambition. Even so, the play continues to intrigue audiences as a psychological portrait of Lord and Lady Macbeth, both of whom confront great emotional upheavals as they plot and murder their way to the Scottish crown. Director Daniel Sullivan’s rendition of the tragedy, now playing at Berkeley Repertory (2015 Addison St., Berkeley) through April 10, doesn’t always manage to capture the urgency of the script’s ever-changing political and emotional terrain, but is still worthwhile for performances by its talented cast, including Game of Thrones’ Conleth Hill in the titular role and Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth. The production is also notable for its technical savvy, including frequent digital projections by video designer Alexander V. Nichols — a welcome contrast to the otherwise historically faithful staging, and heighten the production’s sense of supernatural perturbation. While it may not be a surprising tale to those who know it, Sullivan’s production proves that the Scottish Play is still an undeniably spooky one.


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