This production of Macbeth by Filter Theatre is a smartly crafted piece of theatre that still has the playfulness and experimentation of a rehearsal room. Scenes are spliced together ingeniously creating a great pace, lines are liberally reallocated and a live soundscape manipulated by the performers underscores much of the action. Although the text is cut dramatically and the show runs at about an hour and twenty, the story is still told in a linear and fairly faithful manner.
That said, if you don't already know the play Filter Theatre's production would leave you in the dark. Actors played multiple parts but without the standard accent change or hat to mark them out, so although Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Malcom were recognisable, the characterisation on the whole was weak.
With costume being minimalist modern day dress in a palette of greys, and props being few and far between (yet striking when they do appear) the sound design is what creates and carries you through the show. The focus on sound makes sense not only because Filter Theatre are hugely creative and successful in this domain, but because the weird sisters are conjured from the array of electronic instruments and devices. The witches not only bookend the performance, but the eerie soundscape gave them a shadowy presence throughout.
On the whole, this production could have been far more powerful in a smaller space. I wanted to be nearer to the blood, caught up in the madness and able to see more of how the noise was being created - less of the text and more of the irreverence. Like many rehearsal room experiments, Macbeth is almost brilliant but mostly half-baked and underwhelming.