Tonight Patrick Stewart opens on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre for a seven week run of MacBeth. Rupert Goold’s Stalinist interpretation of the Shakespeare classic originated with Stewart on the London stage in 2007. In a new interview promoting the show, Stewart also talked a little Trek and how Jean Luc Picard influences his MacBeth.
From a interview at The New Yorker:
New Yorker: Okay, wow. Well, here’s a question you’ll really despise: Has playing Jean-Luc Picard taught you anything about Macbeth?
Patrick Stewart: Why do you think that’s a stupid question? Look, I played that character for seven years, 178 episodes week in, week out, four feature films. Those years were very productive, they were very important to me, and they changed my life in every aspect. I am proud of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I am proud of the work we did, and I am proud of the character I played, because I know for a fact he’s been an outstanding role model to people. Is there any of him in Macbeth? No. There really isn’t. Jean-Luc Picard, supposing he were married to Lady Macbeth — which he would never have been because he is married to the Enterprise, as we all know — he would never have permitted these things to happen because he is not a violent man, and not a man who would put personal ambition before the good of others.
NY Loves Stewart
Stewart’s run in new New York began in February at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The actor has been getting great notices. For example, the New York Times had this to say:
But there have been many fascist-themed versions of “Macbeth” over the years. What makes this one a must-see is Mr. Stewart’s thrilling recognition that his character is as close kin to the fatally introspective Hamlet as he is to power-wielding men of ill will like Richard III. His performance is the first I have seen to realize completely what the scholar Harold Bloom means when he calls this play “a tragedy of the imagination.”
…and from the New Yorker:
As Macbeth, Patrick Stewart is masterly; he makes the character’s journey from tentativeness to tyranny with unhistrionic aplomb. As a promoted war hero nearing the end of his career, Stewart cuts a trim, staunch, but older figure. He’s easy in his body, he’s sexual, and he’s playful, which makes his outbursts all the more terrifying. But the age difference between him and Lady Macbeth (the fine, fierce Kate Fleetwood) raises the vexing issue of masculinity, and that works well for the complexity of Macbeth’s balky bloodlust.
Broadway – MacBeth – Trek Connection
MacBeth has been to Broadway many times over the decades. The last attempt was actually by a (brief) Trek Alum, Kelsey Grammer (TNG: Capt. Bateson). However, his 2000 run only lasted 13 performances.
For more info and tickets, visit TeleCharge
Stewart…to B or not to B
There is no video online of Stewart’s performance in MacBeth, but just for fun here is a clip we found of him showing his Shakespearean stuff on Sesame Street.