If you ever had to watch Roman Polanski’s 1971 film The Tragedy of Macbeth when you were at school, you will know it’s famous for three things: first, it stars a young Keith Chegwin as Banquo’s assassin-dodging son Fleance. Second, in Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene, you get a fully nude Francesca Annis searing an image of herself on to your brain liable to pop up unbidden during your GCSE English Lit exam. And finally, that it boasts probably the naffest, oddest fight scene ever, between Macbeth and Macduff (YouTube it).
No one ever came and performed the actual play for us, and even if they did, given that they’d have been unable to re-create points one and two of Polanski’s work, it would probably have been a disappointment.
By morning break at St Paul’s primary school in Primrose Hill, London, however, the hall has a stage set of medieval masonry and a troupe of seven actors to bring it to life. Beneath posters about Diwali and collages of “Trees throughout the Year” are crowns, kilts and a papier mâché head-on-a-spike. Since January the National Theatre has been taking its compact production of one of Shakespeare’s goriest plays around London primary schools to perform for 7 to 11-year-olds.
Full published article at: Times Online