I Am What I Am: Simon Russell Beale's Macbeth Has Been Both Celebrated and Slammed. He Talks to Michael Coveney about This and Future Roles
Coveney, Michael, New Statesman (1996)
Alongside Macbeth himself, you can sup full with horrors in Islington these days, and I am not referring to the unpredictable restaurants or the company you might keep in them. The new production of Shakespeare's nightmarish tragedy is explicitly placed in the mind of its great interpreter, Simon Russell Beale, who has confounded expectation yet again in an unlikely role.
A podgy Macbeth? A far cry indeed from Edmund Kean's "great famished wolf", Nicol Williamson's bitter beanpole or, indeed, Ian McKellen's languid, sensual destroyer. But Russell Beale has also played a Hamlet who was for once, as the duel scene suggests, "fat and scant of breath". He simply binds the meaning to himself and spits it out anew.
I caught him in the bar after a performance and said I'd like to talk to him about a few things. Three days later, just after teatime, he welcomed me in …
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Publication information: Article title: I Am What I Am: Simon Russell Beale's Macbeth Has Been Both Celebrated and Slammed. He Talks to Michael Coveney about This and Future Roles. Contributors: Coveney, Michael - Author. Magazine title: New Statesman (1996). Volume: 134. Issue: 4726 Publication date: February 7, 2005. Page number: 40+. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.
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