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  Dunsinane at Chicago Shakespeare Theater


Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 East Grand Avenue Chicago

London's The Times proclaims, "If it's riveting spectacle, challenging ideas and human drama you want, this is the show to see." Playwright David Greig's captivating sequel to Shakespeare's Scottish play explores one man's attempt to restore peace in a country consumed by war. Macbeth is dead. Under cover of night, the English army has swept in, killed the tyrant and claimed Scotland's seat of power. But efforts to restore order appear futile as the situation spins out of control. Fierce one minute and funny the next, Greig's extraordinary ability to infuse a dark story with rich humor results in a lively, vital examination of power—illuminating uncanny parallels between Scotland's medieval and present-day political landscapes.

Thru - Mar 22, 2015

Price: $58-$78

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 312-595-5600

Running Time: 2hrs, 35mins; one intermission

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  Dunsinane Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...This theater company is essential viewing - especially for anyone with any Scottish interest or heritage, but by no means exclusively so - because it reacts far more quickly to the issues roiling global culture and national identity than any other theater company I know. Take "Dunsinane," now on a short U.S. leg of a world tour, with the Royal Shakespeare Company as a co-presenter. "Game of Thrones" has nothing on this play; but love thereof might be an indicator of shared taste."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Now comes David Greig's magnificent play "Dunsinane," searingly directed by Roxana Silbert. Though billed as a sequel to Shakespeare's "Macbeth," it is clearly a meditation on the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, even if it is cleverly veiled beneath a mythic tale set in medieval Scotland. First staged in London in 2010, this co-production with the Royal Shakespeare Company is now being presented here under the auspices of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater's invaluable World's Stage series."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Greig's fluid text is wondrous, but the silence in this coproduction from the National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Shakespeare Company-which comes to Chicago on the second stop on a tour that marks the play's U.S. premiere-is at times even more so. Director Roxana Silbert delivers on pause after delicious pause, and both Ewan Donald (Malcolm) and Siobhan Redmond (Gruach, Queen of Scotland) embrace that stillness with open arms. In Greig's reimagining, Lady Macbeth hasn't died; rather she's alive and vibrating with power. Redmond, who's played the role since the show's 2010 premiere, delivers an effectively subtle and otherworldly Gruach-an exploiter we hate to love but do anyway."
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Chloe Riley

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...The touring production, newly arrived at Chicago Shakespeare Theater under the auspices of the National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Shakespeare Company, presents the aftermath of the Scottish Play as a series of political machinations that equally evokes Game of Thrones and House of Cards, but ultimately reads as an allegory to the Western incursion into the Middle East over the last 15 years: England arrives to topple a tyrant and install a new king, only to discover a bafflingly interconnected system of clans and divided loyalties that the outsiders can't hope to disentangle."
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Kris Vire

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Surprise! Lady Macbeth didn't die, after all. And how lucky for us that Scottish playwright David Greig decided to revive Macbeth's formidable spouse, who now even has a name: Gruach. This very grand dame is the gravitational force of Greig's "Dunsinane," a thriller of a play brought to rugged, abundant life by the National Theatre of Scotland at Chicago Shakespeare Theater."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...But, galvanized by Roxana Silbert’s rampaging staging and a pulsating live score by Nick Powell, Dunsinane remains a strong show with an attractive young cast. Especially valuable is its Henry V-style portrayal of ordinary archers and axmen coping with sudden death, extorting victims, and combating homesickness. The extensive, if extraneous, debate between Malcolm and Siward on means and ends carries a certain philosophical heft even if it never advances the action. (Shakespeare rightly never indulges in abstract arguments.) Also, there’s a wonderful wedding dance straight out of Brigadoon that’s too happy not to end in carnage."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...The depth of character displayed by the entire ensemble gives the story its epic scale. But the leads, Redmond and D’Silva, embody the spirits of their characters’ opposing cultures. Gruach is as cunning and beguiling as ever, but a very different person than Shakespeare’s version. She would absolutely never dash Lulach’s brains out in pursuit of her own power; he’s her king now, and she is completely devoted to what is best for him. However, should something happen to him, any boy can be Lulach. Redmond plays Gruach as absolutely certain and with a clarity of perception that is ambiguously mystical. Her manner of speaking makes clear English is not Gruach’s first language, yet her mastery of it demonstrates keen intelligence. She refuses to be intimidated, and yet, she senses something compassionate in Siward. Something to manipulate, but also to appreciate."
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Jacob Davis

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...If you think Macbeth's death put an end to royal skullduggery in Scotland, you've got another think coming. Lady Macbeth didn't go mad and/or die, she lived on, tormenting Malcolm and his British backers with her very existence. Not quite a 'sequel' to Macbeth, the plots, counter-plots, double-crosses, power struggles and sword fights in "Dunsinane " are deliciously bloodthirsty. A brilliant collaboration from the National Theatre of Scotland and The Royal Shakespeare Company at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, "Dunsinane" gets 4 BIG Spotlights."
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Carol Moore

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Director Roxana Silbert conjures a world for "Dunsinane" that is stone and mud and peat and crag and driven inexorably toward tragedy. A swelling Gaelic post-rock score, played live, and a late, enveloping snowfall effect are all wonderful theatrical touches so common for the National Theatre of Scotland but so rare everywhere else. This may be a history play, but is a history still living, still dangerous, and still not close to being done."
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Alex Huntsberger

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"..."Dunsinane" succeeds as a sequel to "Macbeth" and also as a stand-alone historical drama and a wonderful example of acting in the classical British style. But the production may rise to its greatest heights as a disturbing exploration of how nations go wrong in their international military adventures, however noble the motives. It should be mandatory viewing for the leaders of the Western world who have gotten us into the bogs of Vietnam and Afghanistan and Iraq and whatever morass may lie ahead."

Dan Zeff

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...DUNSINANE is a passionate play for domination. It is “Games of Thrones” without the dragons. And it is particularly a treat being performed in native tongue. Despite a nearby audience member whispering about not being able to understand the actors, I found the dialects made for a more authentic experience. Not only was the caliber of the acting outstanding, the accents transported us to another place in time. The National Theatre of Scotland and The Royal Shakespeare Company are only here in Chicago for a limited time, act quickly to experience DUNSINANE."
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Katy Walsh

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