Alternate Title Macbeth
Premiere US Premiere
Production Language Japanese
Country of Origin Japan
Description Legendary director Yukio Ninagawa’s outré, blazingly original theater works and inventive interpretations of the classics have earned him a place on the international stage alongside such luminaries as Ingmar Bergman and Peter Brook. In one of his all-too-rare American engagements, Ninagawa returns to BAM with an entirely new staging of Macbeth, Shakespeare’s ever-mutable examination of ambition and greed gone awry.
“If there is a last day of youth, this is a story that occurs on that night,” states the steemed director in describing his approach to this new staging set in 20th-century Asia. Accordingly, the cast is comprised of young Japanese actors who shatter any conventional associations audiences may have with the play’s characters. The production unfolds with tremendous velocity, opening amid a brutal battle replete with Macbeth’s bloodstained warriors. Culling from aspects of Japanese culture, history, and traditions, Ninagawa reaches to the core of the tragedy to reveal new meanings and nuances within the Western text. It’s all here in an unforgettable succession of awe-inspiring, cinematic images exposing Macbeth’s moral weakness, his supernatural terrors, his fear of—and then unbridles appetite for—blood, and the ultimate and inevitable triumph of evil.