Review: Macbeth – Red Rose Theatre in the Forest

For over twenty years the Red Rose Chain’s Theatre in the Forest productions have been as much a part of a Suffolk summer as strawberries and suntan lotion.

To say that live theatre was impacted by the COVID crisis is an understatement, but the ever imaginative Red Rose Chain Company, like many other theatres, adapted and included some performances online. However you can never beat live, face-to-face theatre and therefore it’s a pleasure to welcome Theatre in the Forest back.

This year sees a change of venue with a new partnership with the National Trust at Sutton Hoo, just outside of Woodbridge. It’s a tremendous spot where you can enjoy a picnic before taking your seat in the newly built outdoor theatre space.

Macbeth, one of Shakespeare’s tragedies, is full of evil characters including a trio of witches. But despite the dark tale director Joanna Carrick and her team manage to put the Red Rose stamp on the production and thus make the evening a fun and entertaining event for all ages.

The talented cast of eleven work hard, they even greet and entertain the audience before the show begins. Shining are Jack Heydon, as Macbeth, a long standing member of the company and Darren Latham, Duncan, who really serves as an ice-breaker with the audience and adds some light-heartedness with his comic quips and asides.

The witches come in giant puppet form (made by Nick Barnes Puppets) and add some true menace (no spoilers though you HAVE to see them!).

There’s an outstanding fight scene, really well executed and brilliantly choreographed by Ryan Penny.

If you’ve been to any of the previous Red Rose Forest Productions you’ll already know it’s a great event, if you’re one of those people who say “they look good, but I’ve never been” …. Make this the year that you do…. You will not be disappointed.

“Red Rose Chain’s Theatre in the Forest…. It is what a Suffolk Summer is all about!”

  • Red Rose’s Macbeth is at Sutton Hoo until 20th August. Tickets or call 01473 603388

Review: Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine
Pictures: Bill Jackson

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