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Macbeth (Classic Stage Company)

From 72 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Disappointing, Intelligent, Great staging

About the show

Corey Stoll ("First Man," “House of Cards”) and Nadia Bowers ("Describe the Night," "The Farnsworth Invention") star in Classic Stage Company’s production of Shakespeare's dark tragedy. More…

From the show:

A terrifyingly prophetic tale of revenge, murder, and madness, Macbeth ominously traces the fallout when the darkest side of humanity cheats its way into a position of power. Often referred to as “The Scottish Play” by superstitious theatergoers due to the purported witchcraft found within its text, Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest, scariest, and yet, most popular tragedies.

Member Reviews (72)


Great acting, Absorbing, Disappointing, Intelligent, Great staging
Avg Score

Edgy, Intelligent, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if Doyle's "lean & hungry" staging moves like a stealth missile w/judicious pruning & economic ensemble igniting dark tragedy Leads outstanding

Don't see it if Doyle's usual clipped staging can cause grief (for purists) or confusion (for novices) but gets job done w/scenes of quick shocking violence

Thought-provoking, Great acting, Dizzying, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Great acting by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Love the thrust stage and CSC is an expert with it. Fun finding a witch or her words,

Don't see it if 9 actors play more than 25 roles but with almost same costumes. 2 great female actors play 2 1/2 male roles. . Set is a throne and...

Also How does anyone not get hurt with hurtling actors flying thru some aud... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if John Doyle and the terrific Stoll and spouse distill a brief, bare Scot tragedy with gender-flipped roles and shades of grey/noir wardrobe.

Don't see it if Having apparently exhausted musical/political dramas, the Doyle factory sets its crosshairs on steamrolling the inevitable Shakespeare canon

Riveting, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy Shakespeare but aren’t in the mood to sit through a three-hour play. This abridged 100-minute version is quick and impactful.

Don't see it if you don’t like Shakespeare or prefer to experience his works staged in full.

For shakespeare buffs who will forgive the confusing parts, Great staging, Great acting, Stark

See it if you’ll enjoy many excellent Macbeth scenes even if the show as a whole stretches credibility bcz the collapse of Macbeth’s reign is so rapid

Don't see it if Anyone going to CSC likely has a few Macbeths under their belt, but I’m still not sure if all of Doyle’s intentions were made clear

Also Who could resist sitting on that cool, oversized throne?... Read more Read less

Edgy, Intense, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if dark Shakespeare tragedy stripped down to essentials in a 1hr 45 min production; an excellent Stroll who shows the character's changes in*

Don't see it if don't want violence, minimalist staging, want more of the original play presented; don't like actors coming from multiple sides of theater

Also *that short amount of time & with some humor - goes from beloved thru ... Read more Read less

Slow, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if You want to see every Macbeth. Corey Stoll good.

Don't see it if You want the complete Macbeth-this version is cut. No scenery at all. Hard to hear, audience on three sides. Confusing sometimes who’s who.

Also Does not feel Shakespearean.

Slightly disappointing yet, while trimmed to under 2 hours, still effective in capturing the tone of the original, Distracting lighting (glaring and painful at times), Sparse and spare set-design, Dizzyingly fast-paced, Talented cast

See it if you don’t mind a shortened form of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth that barely gives you time to breathe between scenes; a fan of the actors.

Don't see it if seeking traditional Shakespeare; don't like /confused by actors in multiple roles; aren’t a fan of CSC’s spare sets and garish lighting.

Also With Corey Stoll as the doomed eponymous figure, Macbeth is a solid pr... Read more Read less

Compressed, Disappointing, Slow, Intense, Intelligent

See it if You like your Shakespeare abridged and condensed to the point of incomprehension

Don't see it if You are not familiar with the play already , otherwise you will find it impossible to follow

Intelligent, Slow, Overrated, Great writing

See it if you're interested in a solid but safe rendition of a Shakespearean classic.

Don't see it if You're looking for a fresh take or unforgettable performances. You're going to miss the porter scene.

Also Super competent production, but overall underwhelming. I know it's eit... Read more Read less

Masterful, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if John Doyle’s minimalist staging gives added imaginative heft to this study of ruthless ambition; terrific ensemble especially Stoll&Bowers

Don't see it if If you don’t know ow the play well it can be confusing because actors play multiple roles across gender without costume changes


See it if you cannot get enough of John Doyle’s organic staging.

Don't see it if you, like me, have seen dozens of productions of this text and want to see something daring and fresh.

Energetic & intelligent, Bare bones shakespeare, Concise, Fast paced

See it if Fine intro to MacBeth clear and dynamic, Corey Stoll makes every word intelligible and meaningful.

Don't see it if Minimalist costume and set. The text has been greatly edited. I wish the actors had more gravitas, shouting does not a performance make.

Also Personally, I felt the style of acting out of sync with the play.I did... Read more Read less

Graphic, Intense, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you want to see every Macbeth - it's a somewhat different take. Many of the actors- besides the 2 leads - are excellent.

Don't see it if even though it's sliced up to be v short, it drags. The doubling/tripling of actors is just confusing. The set and staging add nothing.

Also The director's style works for many plays, but it tanks here. The anac... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Intelligent, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if you know the play well and can fill in the pieces. The porblem with abbreviating Shakespeare is you miss the character development. Pity

Don't see it if you want the full evolution of a tragedy. The speed and superficiality make for a diminished experience. Ladies Macbeth and MacDuff emerge

Cuts magnify the dramatic moments, Superb acting

See it if Corey Stoll has broad range & gives most memorable "Tomorrow" speech ever; Nadia Bowers is Lady Macbeth; Raffi Barousmian, a fine Malcolm.

Don't see it if you don't know MacBeth well; don't like your Shakespeare cut. This runs 1 hour 40 minutes. Multiple cast members play multiple parts.

Also This is a fine MacBeth.... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Riveting, Intense, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if you are a Shakespeare fan as well as a John Doyle fan

Don't see it if stripped down, bare-bones productions are not to your liking, or if you can't sit through 100 minutes with no intermission

Great writing, Classic, Swift, Great staging

See it if you want to see Shakespeare. This classic is performed in under 2 hours. Moves quickly.

Don't see it if you want musical comedy or something light. Some actors handle more than one role.


See it if you haven't seem Macbeth before and want a slightly shortened version.

Don't see it if you want the acting to be really professional and grasp the emotions and evil of Macbeth and his wife.

Also I felt I was watching a good high school performance. The theater is f... Read more Read less

Intense, Intelligent, Epic, Edgy, Great acting

See it if you want to see a very dramatic play.

Don't see it if you do not enjoy very serious plays and want a light hearted play.

Profound, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like Shakespeare and want to see a uniquely directed production of The Scottish Play.

Don't see it if you do not like Shakespeareian tragedies.

Riveting, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you love shakespeare and CSC unique and extraordinary productions. great script and acting.

Don't see it if you don't like Shakespeare

Intense, Meh, Great staging

See it if You like a production where the audience is in the middle of the action, want to enjoy the poetry of this play

Don't see it if You are looking to be moved emotionally. Lots of emoting but I couldn’t really connect.

Performances lack gravitas, Great writing

See it if you want to see a lean, pared-down, fast-moving production of Macbeth.

Don't see it if you expect a Macbeth and Lady Macbeth who are true tragic figures. Here, they came across more as crass schemers whose plan goes wrong.

Also More than 40 years ago, I saw Maggie Smith play Lady Macbeth, and I’m ... Read more Read less

Cliched, Slow, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if John Doyle’s something you enjoy

Don't see it if you want to see something fresh and inspired.

Also Acting is fine, but enough of these bare sets and terrible costumes. T... Read more Read less

October 27th, 2019
CRITIC’S PICK "A Decent Man Turns Murderous Tyrant: A bracingly lucid Corey Stoll embodies Shakespeare’s thane who, step by step, cedes his soul to his own darkest impulses."
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October 27th, 2019
2/5 stars: "Coldy lit and swathed in drab tartan, Classic Stage Company's Macbeth resembles an especially severe fall runway show. Color, emotional and otherwise, is out. Stage blood on the hands of its doomed thane (Corey Stoll) is the first sign of life in director-designer John Doyle's odd and...
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October 27th, 2019
"John Doyle’s Blankie 'Macbeth' and Zawe Ashton’s Memorable 'for all the women…'"
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October 27th, 2019
"Real-life spouses Corey Stoll and Nadia Bowers play Shakespeare's murderous couple, directed by Tony Award winner John Doyle."
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