Did Nathaniel Dean break the taboo? Well, an injury did stop him taking the stage for weeks in this production, but he has recovered to deliver an intriguing interpretation of Shakespeare’s tyrant – light on heroic gloss, profoundly steeped in the dread that first stalls Macbeth’s ambition, then propels him relentlessly into violence.
His Macbeth arrives hoarse and spent from the cries and exertions of war. He barely pauses for breath amid rising panic.
He is first startled by the witches in a flamboyant portrayal of supernatural visitation. Yet the psychological effect on Dean’s Macbeth is more modern: an encounter with repressed fears and desires, prophecy as self-justifying delusion.
Even Macbeth’s stirrings of conscience –…