Primary Times Children's Choice Awards review of Brave Macbeth

 

Our Primary Times' review:

 

*5 STARS*

It's easy to think there isn't much to a children's show - it's just everyone running around being daft. It's only when you see other shows that don't manage it well, do you realise just how good Brave Macbeth is; seamless and slick, yet always with a feeling of being fresh and spontaneous, playing to all levels, never flagging in energy, every detail choreographed. Impossible to fault.

 

In many ways there seems little point in reviewing Brave Macbeth – it’s a former Primary Times Children’s Choice Award winner so it’s a bit of a banker. But when shows, even very good ones, struggle to get themselves noticed in the crowd at the Fringe, it is well worth giving the excellent examples another boost.

Because this is an excellent show. And really it has everything stacked against it. It’s Shakespeare; dull, dusty, ancient. And it’s Macbeth – lots of blood, gore, death, complicated political machinations involving a host of long-dead nobles. Not really ideal, you would think, for a show aimed at 3+.

But Brave Macbeth is a perfect example of how to get a kids show right, whatever the subject material. They don’t try to be educational, they’re out purely to entertain. It’s about someone who think he’s it and gets double-dared into doing something he knows is wrong by his pal (well, wife in this case) and has to pay the consequences – playgrounds all over the country have seen the same scenario. There are some great simple songs designed to clarify the characters and their part in the plot: “We do not deserve to die, we are the good guys.” Oh, yes so you are.

Lots of laughs, a few of Shakespeare’s best lines - “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes” – jokes for the parents, funny asides to the audience. How many shows could get kids laughing at a joke about soliloquies? Most theatre for kids needs to be aimed at a tight age group, understandably, as children grow and develop so fast but it’s testimony to how good this show is that both a four-year-old and a 12-year-old with me absolutely loved it. The group of adults behind me were in stitches. Still one of the highlights of the Fringe, hope it will be for many years to come.

 

Our young reviewers say:

 

“I thought it was really funny when they put modern-day stuff in, like when the messenger from the King had a text message for Macbeth with a thumbs-up emoji for winning a battle" - 12 year old

"I really liked the murderer who you couldn't hear because he just made funny sounds" - 9 year old

 

 

Reviewed on 5th August 2019

 

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