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24 September 2014

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Send us your comments and opinions on Macbeth. We'll publish a selection on the website after transmission.

"Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous! There isn't a thing I would have changed about Macbeth on BBC1 on Monday evening. I was on the edge of my seat for the full 90 minutes. What clever writers and stunning actors. Congratulations on taking a fantastic work of art, recreating it and not spoiling a thing."

Rachel, Bedford

"Well done to the BBC. This version of Macbeth actually kept me interested in what would happen, rather than the boring original version I was taught at school.
"Ella deserved to die for putting the blame on the innocent Yugoslavians who hadn't done anything."

In this version it explained why Ella was like she was, because she was grieving for her child that she lost. In a way I felt sorry for her, but I was glad she killed herself - she deserved to die for putting the blame on the innocent Yugoslavians who hadn't done anything."

Ruth, West Yorks

"What a dark drama! The contrast between shadows and the stark lights of the kitchen were a worthy reflection of the darkness surrounding Macbeth. I feel that there was not enough of Peter Macduff (played by the wonderful Richard Armitage) in this drama - he should have been more of a thorn in Macbeth's side. The actors were brilliant overall."

Kirsty, Horsham

"Very enjoyable. Thought that Lady Macbeth could have been slightly more devious. More importantly, what a fantastic idea; Shakespeare's relevance is entirely engaging and most engaging for the modern audience. Well done the BBC!"

Max, Durham

"Really excellent! Macbeth has always been one of my favourite Shakespeare plays and this did not disappoint. James McAvoy perfectly portrayed the almost sexual appeal of power and ambition and his self-detruction was believable and sad.

"James McAvoy perfectly portrayed the almost sexual appeal of power."
The destructive relationship between Joe and Ella was brought forward into a relationship that our modern society can recognise without losing the poetry of Shakespeare's original. Interesting to have some back-story to the modern version of Lady Macbeth and the motivations for her later actions.

Throughout the whole programme, there was never any danger of it slipping into just another 'murder drama'; it always maintained a sense of the mystery and poetry of Shakespeare. Thoroughly enjoyable!"

Amy Richmond, Newcastle upon Tyne

"I was a doubter going into this but they actually pulled it off. Well done. Kudos to McAvoy and Hawes. These two are definitely the cream of young British acting talent. They were subtle when they needed to be and disturbingly wrenching near the end."

Erin K., London

"It was fantastic - I recently studied Macbeth, and this made the whole play really interesting, and easy to follow. it was really cleverly done - well done BBC!"

Caz, Chester

"The film was brilliant! What can I say? Wow!"

Virginia, London

"Absolutely fantastic drama. It was gripping, dark and tragic - everything Shakespeare meant Macbeth to be.

"Gripping, dark and tragic."

Wonderfully orignal updating of the well-known story, and the acting was superb. Thoroughly believable performances from all the cast. Definitely television at its best."

Sarah, Surrey

"A believable, cheekily written play. Very clever - especially the "pigs will fly" bit and the lovely nod to the Scottish Play supersition. James McAvoy and Keeley Hawes were amazing, especially the understated portrayal of Lady/Mrs Macbeth's madness. A pleasure to watch."

D Hill, Reading

"Great and stylish but to murder someone over a restaurant is a bit unbelievable."

Jeff Murdock, Ireland

"I felt that the Monday's perfomance of Macbeth was just a small part of the obvious general decline in the standard of your TV programs. I had been looking forward to the production of Macbeth, after the obvious success of Much Ado About Nothing.

"If the BBC are going to attempt to recreate the most amazing pieces of literature ever written, then they should at least spend more than a day writing the script."
It was impossible to understand the plot and which character was which.
However I felt that the whole thing was absolutely appalling. The programme itself was so unbelievably fantastical that I was completely dumbfounded. I feel that if the BBC are going to attempt to recreate what are definitely some of the most amazing pieces of literature ever written, then they should at least spend more than a day writing the script and filming it. The programme was a disgrace to the name of both the best English writer of all time and the BBC."

Ben, UK

"I used to be a chef and I was quite shocked to see how the people in this show behaved in the kitchen - unsanitary conditions which no chef would tolerate. But worse than this, and speaking as a vegetarian, the scene with the pigs head was disgusting and offensive and was completely unecessary - it should have been on after 9pm at the very least.

I have done my fair share of meat preparation in the past, but that scene was just pure gore. I was very disappointed that Macbeth had to be re-told in such a way"

Mandy Maughan, Baldock, Herts

"I really enjoyed this adaption,which was extremely well-acted. I thought James McAvoy's performance was outstanding,very intense. I always found the play wonderful and tragic anyway, but well done to all involved."

Vanessa Moran, Dublin

"Following on from last week's great success of Much Ado About Nothing, I was sceptical as to how the BBC would pull off a televised modern-day Macbeth. Although aware of the kitchen setting; a natural home for blood, heated tensions and stress, I was convinced that slapstick comedy was a lot easier to modernise than murdering kings and mental decline.

"I particularly enjoyed the demise of the two protagonists, and thought their madness was portrayed very well."
After a somewhat tedious start, with the cast and the story dragging its feet, Macbeth became interesting viewing. James McAvoy and especially Keeley Hawes were brilliant in their respective roles, and the scenes with the three bin men were certainly strong points. I particularly enjoyed the demise of the two protagonists, and thought their madness was portrayed very well. The infamous hand-washing was smartly done, and Macbeth's hallucinations worked superbly (especially the milk and the shower). However, the remaining cast were largely uninspiring and less interesting than their original counterparts, and in the end, the kitchen setting didn't quite sit.

In all, the BBC's Macbeth was a good attempt; although I maintain that the play is only really given life on the stage. What held this particular production together was the wonderful score, and the acting talents of the two leads."

Hannah Jane, Liverpool

"I thought that compared to last week's version of Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth was disappointing. I don't believe that someone unfamiliar with the plot would have been able to follow it closely, as some of the characters and links were confusing."

Emma, Oxford

"Good performances from Keeley Hawes and James McAvoy and a nice cameo from Richard Armitage. But on the whole this seemed a bit rushed to me, it could have done with some extra time. However the binmem were genius!"

Lucy Bellamy, Norwich

"I thought it was excellent, but two things that I didn't understand were why would Billy's son get the restaurant, and why did he turn up at the end with Malcolm?"

Cheryl, London

"I only watched because I wondered how on earth this was going to translate to a kitchen scenario, but am I glad I did!

"Good old Will can be as relevant today as he was in 1606."
This production just went to show that good old Will can be as relevant today as he was in 1606. Full marks to all the actors, and production team, and what a brilliantly clever twist at the end. Flying pigs indeed! I will definitely watch the rest."

Anita Gouly, Weston-super-mare

"I'm really sorry but I fail to see the point in the re-imagining of Shakespeare. Surely it would be of far more educational value to present the plays as written?

I thought Macbeth was awful. I usually enjoy the performances of the lead actors - James McAvoy and Keeley Hawes in particular. I cannot put my finger on it but I found the whole programme hugely irritating and self-satisfied - like the production is doing us a great favour by retelling a well worn story."

Claire, Cumbria

"Fantastic! James McAvoy portrayed the part of Macbeth wonderfully. I was looking forward to see how the writers modernised such a play, but they pulled it off spectacularly! The whole idea of 'pigs flying' and 'pigs falling on his head' was very clever. Well done to everyone involved!"

Shaz, Bristol

"Fantastic adaptation. And the line about Gordon Ramsay - 'We like to call him the Scottish chef' made us howl!"

Gary Jesionowski, Leicestershire

"Brilliant! This solved a 20 year old question for me and my school friends ... 'What is Macbeth's first name?'.

Seriously though, very entertaining. And with the added bonus of Richard Armitage."

Alison C, Northern Ireland

"This drama passed too quickly as it gained momentum towards its gruesome ending.
"The two main characters commanded attention as they spiralled towards their downfalls."

All characters were individually brilliant in their roles and the two main characters each commanded attention as they spiralled towards their own downfalls. These adaptations are most watchable and I will enjoy every one of them."

June Hughes, Edinburgh

"Strangely disappointing after last week's triumph. It started well enough with the scene setting and the characters but from the point where the murder was committed I became agitated and uncomfortable with the story .I carried on watching and hoping but it failed to impress. "

Andy Birtwistle, Ashbourne

"It was interesting and enjoyable to see how the play was adapted, but ultimately I don't think it worked. The murder and horror of the original is more believable because of the savage time in which it was set and the fact that Macbeth could "get away" with being a tyrant for a period because of his authority as the king.

With so much high quality crime drama on TV it's difficult for a play set in modern Britain to feature so many murders convincingly without crossing over to that genre. The events of the play seemed too intense and too extreme to be justified by the rivalries and ambitions of a restaurant. Having said that, I think it was a brave attempt!"

Andrew Sinclair, Bristol

"I watched Macbeth last night and thought it was riveting. Fantastic cast, good directing and thoroughly comprehensive.
"I loved the bin men."
I loved the bin men. I have never really enjoyed Shakespeare plays, but this series has completely turned my opinion of the Bard around. Keep up the good work."

Bev James, Worksop

"A nice try but trying to get the complexities of dark age and Elizabethan issues into the 20th Century ultimately led to the programme makers feeling that they had to represent every part of the orignial story. The worst example of this was the "Lady Macbeth" character carrying the weight of the Caesarian storyline which is normally formed around McDuff and provides a plotline which sees the ultimate demise of Macbeth.

Levels of production and acting were good, but the scenarios and attempts to incorporate the plot in the end provided an unsatisfying package."

Phil Gallagher, Beds

"This adaptation just managed to keep me interested by a short (pig's) head, but it was a very near thing at times. Our willing suspension of disbelief was being stretched to snapping point with the central conceit of a chef being prepared to murder for three measly Michelin stars.

The signposting became rather clumsy and obvious by the end. Yes, Joe drinks milk by the pint so he's 'full of the milk of human kindness' - geddit?. Pig product placement in virtually every scene reminiscent of the witches 'killing swine' - geddit? The conclusion was wince-makingly pure cliche with the punning 'pigs might fly' - as in police - geddit?
"Sorry, Peter Moffat, this time something 'wicked' (as in great - geddit?) did not this way come..."

The central performances were convincing but some of the lines did not ring true. Examples; 'Pork assortments' from Macduff and 'but what about the binmen?' from a supposedly transfixed Ella Macbeth. Sorry, Peter Moffat, this time something 'wicked'(as in great - geddit?) did not this way come..."

Jane Edwards, Essex

"I thought the re-told version of Macbeth was excellent, gripping and extremely well acted. Setting it in a modern day restaurant was a really clever and ingenious idea. Loved every moment of it - well done."

Beth McGregor, Johnstone, Renfrewshire

"That was incredible! I've been made to trawl through the play numerous times over the years and never before have I identified with the characters so powerfully! The cast were fantastic as was the writing. This series is a jewel in the BBC's crown and worth the licence fee alone. Thank you. "

Anna, Sheffield

"Loved it! Great acting, great styling! Woke up this morning and thought about it immediately. So I'm very pleased that this website gives so much information. Thank you!"

Saskia, Swansea

"Throughout this adaptation I was unable to take my eyes off the screen for fear of missing any details. I loved the references to Macbeth's potential for butchery at the beginning of the programme. I think it was very cleverly put together and very carefully and closely edited, ensuring that all the necessary, unforgettable lines were included.
"Thanks for creating my new obsession."

Even though I am familiar with the play, I didn't know what was coming next - the way the witches and the supernatural elements of the play were portrayed was fantastic and unpredictable. The 'when pigs fly' touch was also superb! Thanks for creating my new obsession."

Loz, Wigan

"Wonderfully dark and claustrophobic set in the confines of the restaurant. I especially liked Richard Armitage's performance as Macduff. "

C Fisher, Aberdeenshire

"The setting may have been moved to a modern-day kitchen, but it still showed the dynamic between the Macbeths and their own inner conflicts perfectly. I also like how it captured mood and intensity without having to resort to gratuitous violence and swearing. Clever and well-acted. Well done!"

R Last, West Sussex

"Thanks BBC for a clever reworking of the themes of the play. The restaurant kitchen's rivalries and jealousies were an inspired setting for a modern 'Macbeth' and the rubbish dump, swept by wind and seagulls, evoked the 'blasted heath' perfectly. The narrative followed Shakespeare's themes incredibly closely, despite its differences from the original. Loved the look of the play too - all that film noirish shadow as the Macbeths got further steeped in blood.
"Loved the look of this - all that film noirish shadow as the Macbeths got further steeped in blood."

The performances were excellent, especially James MacAvoy and Keeley Hawes, and the portrayal of the destruction of their initial sexual and emotional intimacy very well observed. Wish Macduff's response to the news of his family's death hadn't all been filmed in long shot though - no-one betters Richard Armitage for closeup anguish."

Helen Gardner, Midlands

"Pretty awful. Dispenses with all of Shakespeare's beautiful language and replaces it with... what?

A lot of fake blood and pointless updating (mobile phones, Yugoslavians). Bring back Derek Jacobi and let's do it again properly."

Tim Steele, Cambridge, UK

"Disappointed! Last week's was great, but my husband and I could not stomach this version as we are vegetarian and vegan. What we did see was very cleverly done but too stomach churning I'm afraid. Look forward to the next one."

Melissa Pattemore, Kent

"Macbeth was an excellent production. I was able to recount the Bard's original text/ story to my two young daughters at the end of each scene. I am looking forward to next weeks re-telling."

Milton, London

"Well done to all concerned in this production. I was impressed with the way the play was updated in a way and to a setting that made all the murder and madness believable.

"Liked the in joke reference to 'The Scottish Chef!"
I was absolutely mesmerised by James McAvoy's portrayal of Macbeth, the disintegration of his character into madness, especially his final realisation when he realises that he is not invincible as MacDuff corners him with 'the pigs flying' overhead.

The claustrophobic setting of the restaurant worked very well especially as the once close team fall apart in an atmosphere of suspicion and fear. Liked the in joke reference to 'The Scottish Chef!"

Eli, London


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