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Icarus Theatre Collective


International Tour
August 2011 - June 2012
A co-production with King's Theatre, Southsea
in association with South Hill Park Arts Centre

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by William Shakespeare

Something wicked this way comes...

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Audience Feedback


Good morning to everyone at the Icarus Theatre Collective!
(It might not be morning any more, but to me as a student, I guess it is... ;))

A friend and me, we watched Macbeth in Neuss on Sunday (neither of us had known it was the last show - lucky us: Everyone knows a derniere tends to be special! :)), but until know, I haven't found any time to give some feedback (usually, both of us are passionate "stage doorers" - unfortunately, we didn't have the time to stay any longer that evening...), with all the excitement of our football team against the Netherlands and everything... ;)

So, what I've wanted to say for three days now: The show truly made our weekend!

At first, we were surprised to see that it was done with no more than seven actors, but in fact, we hardly noticed, as everyone played just so brilliantly. Even the smallest role was furnished with personal details - facial expressions, movement, way of speaking - voice itself, even! - costumes... Major character leaves the stage, same actor returns five seconds later as a minor character, and the audience is not the slightest bit confused! Awesome! :)

The acting performance itself - I needn't really point that out now, do I? ;) - was amazing. Everyone seemed hardly human when portraying the witches.

Good thing Joel Gorf played the main character, his voice was made to be listened to all evening. ;)

Sophie Brooke must have been the one meant by that comment I read on your Facebook page: "Scary, but in a good way!" Just one more thing to mention: The sleepwalking scene, it gave us the chills! Seriously, that's what you mean when talking about goosebumps!

By the final battle scene, Richard Maxted aka Macduff had become our hero of the evening, he had us on the verge of jumping onto stage and join the fight! ;)

John Eastman, and his rendition of the Porter in particular, were another highlight - but you probably already noticed from the reaction among the audience. ;D Unbelieveable that this was the very same actor who portrayed Banquo or the Doctor.

Same with Zachary Holton - without the programme, I couldn't have told that the Old Man was the same actor as Duncan...once again: Amazing!

Emma Carter: So sweet and subtle, and yet so flexible in her acting. That scene with Lady Macduff and her son being killed just broke my heart...which leads me to...

Kaiden Dubois! I'd need a stronger word than "flexible" to describe the range between Young Macduff and Malcolm, for example. At times, there was this other Shakespeare quote, from Much Ado About Nothing, which came to my mind when I saw him "doing in the figure of a lamb the feats of a lion".

Well done, everyone, it was emotional and exciting and such a lot of fun! =)

Thank you to everyone who helped producing, planning, stageing and conducting the play, no doubt there was a lot of effort put into making it turn out the way I've just described it. :)

One more thing: Kudos to everyone responsible for the fighting! When these shields were brought on stage, we thought they were painted in a way that would make them look like having been used in a tough battle before... Well, turns out we were mistaken: They had indeed been used in tough battles! We were sitting in the balcony, but surely, our jaws must have dropped all the way down into the stalls! ;)

Macduff versus Macbeth has definitely been the most impressive stage fight I've ever seen, and even taking into account that stage fights come across as more impressive than film fights by nature, I'm sure it still would have fit into any film when put on screen.

My friend and I, we've seen many plays in theatre, but not until last Sunday has any play other than a musical like Les Misérables rendered us as speechless.

We're certain to return for next year's Shakespeare Festival in Neuss - hopefully seeing you once more? ;)

Larissa Jolitz

P.S.: "Feel free to drop us a line", the programme said. Turns out I dropped you something like a novel... ;D


Superb evening tonight at Hartlepool. Unsolicited comment from (normally undemonstrative) 13 year old (who has been dragged here as Macbeth is on her GSCE list): 'That was so cool!'

Thank you!

A big thank you to everyone involved in Macbeth.  I was amongst that fortunate audience in Kendal last night. Such compelling performances on an uncluttered stage - I was on the edge of my seat!!  I have been going to the theatre for as long as I can remember and last night's play will be one of the ones that I will enjoy to rerun in my mind.  There were 2 school groups attending and it was great to see them drawn in and hear them talking afterwards - for those at a play for the first time - they could not have had a better introduction!

Thank you and all good wishes,



Congratulations to the whole company for last night's super performance of The Scottish Play in Stamford. The sound effects , lighting and set were
all superb, , as were the performances. lt was in marked contrast to a
muddled and painfully long - drawn out production we saw at a very
important theatre last year ! lt was a  good introduction to Shakespeare
for our two grand -daughters . The elder one has been bored by it at school but is now a convert , and the 12 - year - old who is a great reader and theatre enthusiast anyway, was wildly keen and said that it was really scary but not in a bad way.

What a great evening ! Sincerely,
Adrienne Leeder

If you could pick the perfect evening to see Macbeth – Shakespeare’s gory and ghostly tragedy – it would probably be Hallowe’en.
Year 10 drama students abandoned trick or treating for the night and headed for the Mumford Theatre in Cambridge to see ‘The Scottish Play’ by the Icarus Theatre Collective.
The language was definitely Shakespeare, the setting Shakespeare but the creepy special effects were very 21st century and perfect for October 31st.
Macbeth’s murder and mayhem were marked by pillars lighting one by one as he became embroiled in more and more evil.
And a little more blood would trickle down from the moon…
The setting was stark and the costumes understated so as not to detract from the language and the actors’ physicality.
The best part was the ghost scene with the audience seeing it both from Macbeth’s point of view (spectre present) and the other characters (spectre vanished).
A traditional much-performed play but the small company produced an imaginative version, making it very much their own.

Kit Turner, Student at Bottisham Village College

Can you please pass on to the cast and crew of the above production my thanks for such an amazing production last night.
With heavy snow forecast, the audience was sparse but that did not diminish the performance of this incredibly talented cast.
I brought along my 14 year old daughter who is just about to start studying Macbeth and she was entranced - the set, effects and sound were so atmospheric and as her very first introduction to Shakespeare it could not have been bettered.
I really was so impressed by every single aspect of the production and I really hope that it gets the plaudits it so richly deserves.
We nearly cancelled when we saw that snow was predicted, I am so very glad we didn't.
Thanks and well done.
Molly, Buxton Opera House, 9th Feb

I was part of a family group that was lucky enough to see your production of'Macbeth' at Stamford Arts Centre on Friday 3rd. My eldest niece is studying the play and her younger sister (12) hasn't seen any Shakespeare live onstage. We hoped that this version would prove a perfect introduction. We were not disappointed!
Vivid, economical, exciting, judiciously cut and acted with energy and
drive, we loved it - thank you all so much! I do hope you get the
enthusiastic and appreciative audiences you deserve as you continue your tour of the country. Your energy reserves must be huge!
I think my niece Bethia summed it up rather well when she said "Scary - but in a good way!"
Corinna Leeder


Thirty of our fifth year students had the opportunity to experience the magic of live theatre on Wednesday night last when they attended an excellent performance of Macbeth at The Source Theatre. Directed by  Max Lewendal, the Icarus Theatre Collective’s production of the ‘Scottish play’ has received much critical acclaim and having witnessed Wednesday night’s performance it is fair to say that those positive reviews are more than justified. The acting, particularly by  Joel Gorf, who played Macbeth, and  Sophie Brooke, who played Lady Macbeth, was of a very high quality and the company certainly succeeded in recreating the play’s atmosphere of eeriness and malevolence. The tension in the lead up to Duncan’s murder was almost palpable while other highlights included the porter’s comic interlude and the excellently choreographed battle scenes. It was certainly enjoyed by the students who attended and it should be hugely beneficial in improving their knowledge of and appreciation for the play they will be answering on in next year’s Leaving Cert English exam.

CBS Thurles Secondary School, www.cbsthurles.ie

Just wanted to say how wonderful your performance of Macbeth was at the Key Theatre, Peterborough last night, enthralling and griping from start to finish! My wife and my 12 year old daughter both loved the performance too, you have a very talented company of actors.

Paul Groom


Last night was an excellent performance by everyone involved, the ovation at the end was more than deserved.
Paulie Pentelow, Facebook


My name is Jennifer Neill and I am Head of Drama at Banbridge Academy and I recently took my A level class to a performance of Macbeth in the
Marketplace Theatre in Armagh.  We were really very impressed by the quality of the production, from the props and staging to the superb acting. The students were motivated by the innovative directorial decisions regarding the characterization of the witches, Hecate and were most impressed by the versatility of the actors, in particular Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. It was impressive to see a production of Macbeth which captured the horror of the script without appearing melodramatic.

Jennifer Neil


Utterly stunning performance tonight from start to finish. Heartfelt congratulations and humble thanks to all involved! I was front row centre tonight and I'll be there again when you return with Romeo and Juliet. Can't wait!

Nick Carroll, Facebook


Great show tonight...loved it, as did daughter...well done to the team on a great job!! Excellent production and cast were fantastic!!...;))

Sean Toal, Facebook


Dear Icarus,

I'm writing with feedback from the production of Macbeth which I
watched last night at The Corn Exchange in Newbury. What a fantastic
evening out!

I was unable to run a full year trip to this play -  but I did my best
to advertise it throughout the school and encourage students to go
themselves with parents.

However, I was able to take a small number of Free School Meals
students whose families would not have had the means, or possibly the
interest, to provide luxuries like theatre trips for their children.
In particular I took a pair of potentially difficult 15 year old twins
boys. They had never been to the theatre before and had no idea how to
behave or what to expect - and they were even nervous at the thought
of meeting the more middle class students there. I was worried that in
long speeches they might be bored, and wondered how they would react.

Amazing! They loved it! The set and soundtrack was immediately
engaging, the performance physical and varied enough to keep interest
even when longer speeches were not understood (by these boys). They
jumped in all the right places - got involved with the plot and the
characters (especially Lady Macbeth whom I thought was excellent) -
and talked about the play all the way home.

Thank you so much for a really successful evening! It's always a risk
taking these kinds of students to these kinds of activities - but I
feel that a light has been switched on in these boys' lives. Please
pass on my thanks to director, cast and set designer. And please add
me to your mailing list. I shall be looking forward to another Icarus
production in the not too distant future.

Sarah Seath, Head of English, and Able Pupil Co-ordinator - The Downs School, Compton


And what a fabulous, passionate performance it was. Thanks for a brilliant evening, very clever and I especially loved the start to the second half.

Rebecca Allsop, Icarus Theatre Collective Facebook Page


A brilliant production. Top notch acting, set design and costume. Full of blood curdling action and loads of emotion..
Simon Moore, edfringe.com

Really good-- dark and dramatic and full of energy. Great set and costumes. Well worth seeing; if you are looking to choose one version of Macbeth at the Fringe, this is it.
Robin Richardson, edfringe.com

The range of these actors is phenomenal. Perhaps the best show this year on the Fringe. I was blown away by the sheer passion, especially Lady Macbeth, but, all were good and I will go see any show you put on next year. Whatever it is, will be brilliant.

Jen Butler, edfringe.com

Traditional interpretation and well adapted for one act. Macbeth and Macduff need special mention. Fine performances. Very good set. Set text for next summer's GCSEs so a must for the 15/16 year age group.

Jayne Oconnell, edfringe.com

Seeing The Scottish Play . . . in Scotland? How could it get any better?

The Icarus Collective is producing Macbeth at The New Town Theatre and it is well worth seeing. It is a straight-up, no-holds-barred production of the play.

This is Shakespeare's Macbeth, not an adaptation. While there are the cuts needed to bring the play down to about an hour and 15 minutes, it is already famously one of Shakespeare's shortest plays, allegedly due in part to the perceived impatience of James VI (Scotland)/James I (England) before whom it was performed.

The highpoints: Real credit goes to the art direction of the play. The costumes and sets are entirely in black, red, and white. The sets, while minimal, are highly effective. Keep an eye on the full moon as the play progresses.

There is a great physicality to the entire play. The fight scenes towards the end are brilliantly choreographed and performed.

The actors did a splendid job of bringing the script to life. The cast totals seven playing multiple roles each. Veteran Shakespeare fans should have no trouble keeping them straight, but if you're not familiar with actors playing as many as different parts in the same play, keep an eye on how they dress and behave. With one notable exception (Banquo), if they're killed and you see the actor again you can safely bet they are playing someone else.

While I would credit the entire cast, Joel Gorf is a believable Macbeth who projects his lines with crystal clarity. Sophie Brooks plays a particularly evil and ambitious Lady Macbeth - and later a particularly mad one. Matthew Bloxham played a sympathetic Banquo.

The witches are nicely disgusting without the use of special effects or makeup.

Incidentally, this is one of about 5 different Macbeth's being shown at the Festival. I cannot speak to the others, having not seen them, but understand from the festival literature that this is the one truest to the original.

All in all, the Icarus Theatre Collective's Macbeth has been a high point of our week at the Festival.
Gregory Mersol, edfringe.com

Having read and studied a lot of Shakespeare, Macbeth is by far my favourite play. Unfortunately I had never had the opportunity to see it performed on stage before, and so when I saw it was being performed during the festival I was determined to put this right. Luckily, this performance did not disappoint.

The acting was outstanding, as was the choreography for the fighting. I particularly enjoyed when they re did a scene so you saw it from both Macbeth's perspective and the perspective of the other characters.

The only slight criticism I have is that as it is a small cast some actors played multiple roles and there were a few occasions when it wasn't clear that they had changed roles, so maybe this could have been made a little clearer using costume/props.

Overall though I really enjoyed it and would encourage people to go and see it.
David Barrett, edfringe.com


Twitter Feedback


B Cook: Fantastic production and superb performances by all. The quality of acting from Joel Gorf as Macbeth and Sophie Brooke as Lady Macbeth make this a must-see production.

Becki Wood, Bexibooxxx @icarustheatre: I agree. All performances were super but Sophie Brooke & Joel Gorf were outstanding. -- icarustheatre (@icarustheatre)

Becki Wood @ Bexibooxxx: I realise now, after watching Macbeth last night, that I found the woman playing Lady Macbeth..inspirational! :)

`*MathewJames*@*mathewmouse@*icarustheatre*: Stunning show at theatre Severn this evening. Thank you!'

Susan Marine @suziemarine *@icarustheatre: Really enjoyed Macbeth last night...excellent performances by all involved. My teen is now planning to re-read play! :-)   

Susan Marine @suziemarine: Wonderful to see my teen so enthusiastic about Shakespeare after seeing Icarus production of Macbeth last night!

Deirdre Bennet @uno2much: Just watched Macbeth with my son and daughter, 14 and 12. Passionate performance, emotional...Brilliant! We loved it, thanks.

Deborah C Foulkes @ Angelicdemons: Just watched a fantastic version of Macbeth by @icarustheatre. The performance reminded me why this is my favourite play.

Steve Johnson @livsdad: Also, enjoyed an inspired production of Macbeth by @icarustheatre collective last night; worth checking out if they're near you!

Kimberley Musson @kimbee7: Just been to see macbeth in worthing. Some great acting... Seriously :)




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The Lesson by Eugène Ionesco

starstarstarstarstarCurierul National


The Lesson Eugène Ionesco

starstarstarstar or better
in 15 of 17 reviews

Out of all productions with a star rating in the last 3 years:

starstarstarstar or better
in 36 of 45 reviews

The Lesson Eugène Ionesco

"Max Lewendel's production succeeds by the strength of its acting and the steadily increasing tension."

Jeremy Kingston, The Times


The Lesson Eugène Ionesco

"Directed so specifically that the beast of chaos that charges through Ionesco's work like his own rhinoceros is safely routed through the play."

Rebecca Banks, Ham & High


The Lesson Eugène Ionesco

"A daring production by an energetic new company, the London-based Icarus Theatre Collective, it pulls no punches in its visceral pursuit of pure absurdism."

Daniel Lombard,
South Wales Argus


The Lesson Eugène Ionesco

Premiul special al juriului
Special Jury Prize:
Cash prize from Romania

The Lesson Eugène Ionesco

Premiul pentru cea mai buna actrita ín rol principal
Best Actress in a Leading
Role: Amy Loughton

Coyote Ugly by Lynn Siefert

"Scarlet, a wild 12-year-old, like a coyote bitch on heat".

John Thaxter, What's On


by William Shakespeare

starstarstarstarstarCarrick Biz
starstarstarstarstarStage, Screen, & the Mystique
starstarstarstarThree Weeks

Journey's End
by R.C. Sherriff

starstarstarstarThe Times

starstarstarstarThe Scotsman
starstarstarstarManchester Eve News

by William Shakespeare

With sword, axe, spear and bare fist fighting it is an impressively energetic and dynamic production.

Victoria Claringbold, Remotegoat


The Trials of Galileo
by Nic Young

Icarus Theatre fly into London on waxen wings, which, after this compelling production, show no sign of melting any time soon.

Edwin Reis, Remotegoat


Spring Awakening
by Frank Wedekind

Nigh-on Faultless. The cast are, one and all, magnificent.

Roderic Dunnett, Behind the Arras


by William Shakespeare

"Max Lewendel's production is fast-paced and pulls the audience straight in... Outstanding".

Von Magdalena Marek, Newsline

by William Shakespeare

"Particularly haunting is the piece because of the use of music and sounds, designed by Theo Holloway. The effect is outstanding".

Von Magdalena Marek, Newsline

by William Shakespeare

"Max Lewendel's production is fast-paced and pulls the audience straight in... Outstanding".

Von Magdalena Marek, Newsline

by William Shakespeare

"The play explodes into action with a high-powered fight sequence using real swords, axes and spears that superbly captured the intensity of battle".

Robin Strapp, British Theatre Guide

Journey's End
by R.C. Sherriff

"A powerfully emotive production."

Julie Watterston, The Stage

Albert's Boy
by James Graham

"Theatre at its best."

Aleks Sierz, The Stage

Coyote Ugly by Lynn Siefert

"The five-member cast fill the dim confines of the theatre like a desert storm".

Le Roux Schoeman,
Church of England Newsletter

Coyote Ugly by Lynn Siefert

"This sexy, steamy drama really hits home, especially after delivering the scorpion sting in its tail".

Philip Fisher,
British Theatre Guide

The Lesson Eugène Ionesco

"Comedy, tragedy, fear, mystery, sex, violence, disturbance: The Lesson has them all".

Eleanor Weber,
Raddest Right Now

The Lesson Eugène Ionesco

"It is impossible not to enjoy Icarus Theatre Collective’s production of Ionesco’s one-act play".

The Stage

Coyote Ugly by Lynn Siefert

"The cast navigates the perilous emotional terrain with aplomb".

Visit London (Totally London)

Coyote Ugly by Lynn Siefert

"Sizzling bursts of desire and hate among the North American sands".

Timothy Ramsden,
Reviews Gate

Albert's Boy
by James Graham

Victor Spinetti is outstanding."

Cheryl Freedman,
What's On in London

Albert's Boy
by James Graham

"A beautifully crafted piece."

Joanna Bacon,
Rogues & Vagabonds

The Lesson Eugène Ionesco

"The Icarus Theatre collective's production of Eugène Ionesco's absurdist masterpiece is brilliant. A fast-paced, sixty-five minute screaming journey from a bare classroom into utter chaos."

Kevin Hurst, Extra! Extra!

Many Roads to Paradise
by Stewart Permutt

"You would pay a lot of money in the West End for a class act like this, so why not pop along to the Finborough and find out what great nights are made of."

Gene David Kirk,
UK Theatre Web


The Time of Your Life
William Saroyan

"Book as soon as possible!"

-Claire Ingrams,
Rogues & Vagabonds

The Time of Your Life
William Saroyan

"This is the kind of consoling play we need right now."

-Jane Edwardes, Time Out

Romeo & Juliet
William Shakespeare

"A rollercoaster rendering of the play that dragged the audience on a fast-paced soul-stirring ride for two heart-rending hours."

Team Locals

Romeo & Juliet
William Shakespeare

"An excellent take on a globally-renowned tale of true love."

Take on the Road by Lauren Razavi

Romeo & Juliet
William Shakespeare

"Props to Icarus Theatre Collective for putting on such a fantastic show."


Team Locals

Romeo & Juliet
William Shakespeare

"A fresh and invigorating version of this time-honoured romantic tragedy."

Darlington & Stockton Times - Christina McIntyre

The Time of Your Life
William Saroyan

"Fine performances from the 26-strong cast."

-Michael Billington, The Guardian

The Lesson Eugène Ionesco

"You can reach out and touch the emotional atmosphere."

-Julienne Banister,
Rogues & Vagabonds

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