AS part of a double bill, 440 Theatre performed Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet all in the space of one evening - and it did not disappoint.

The Leader went to Theatr Clwyd last weekend to see a far from traditional Shakespeare classic - or should I say, two classics. 

Macbeth in 40 minutes? You must be joking!

440 Theatre turn everything you think we know about Shakespeare productions upside down by turning two of the greatest tragedies into outrageous, fall-on-the-floor comedies.

You might have seen Shakespeare before, but never like this.

The production started with the much loved and better known of Shakespeare's works, Romeo and Juliet. The set remained incredibly simple throughout, and with only four actors, I was truly on the edge of my seat with anticipation.

Yet, what they achieved in just 45-minutes was astounding. 

The Leader:

Laura Sillett's portrayal of a modern day Juliet was wonderful as she transformed into a 21st-century girl next door character. Her energy and connection with Luke Thornton's Romeo was delightful to see.

Amy Roberts, playing Lady Capulet, stunned the audience with her quick wit and dreamy vocals during the original numbers.  

Their fast-forwarded alternative version of the story was given in a highlighted reel with multiple role playing, several accents, and speedy costume changes.

Director and actor, Dom Gee-Burch was the stand out performance for me across both plays, particularly his Frair and Nurse costume change and cross over scene. 

The talent, skill and effort put in by each cast member was remarkable from start to finish. Their inimitable style and charisma definitely set them apart as one of the most playfully ambitious theatre groups that I've seen in a long, long time.

I was apprehensive about the modern mixed with the traditional but it blended together seamlessly with the cast finding every ounce of humour possible between the lines of the script.

Next up was Macbeth and, if you didn't already know it as the Scottish play, you certainly would afterwards with the tartan scarfs, red-haired beards, and somewhat questionable accents.

The opening scene of Dom imitating not one of the witches, but all three on sticks, was still making me laugh aloud after the performance had ended.


Despite its tragic nature, each death scene in Macbeth became funnier as the night went on, with each character being played by the same four actors, switching costumes and accents within moments right before our eyes.

Members of the audience must go into the auditorium with a good sense of humour and an open mind ready to embrace the witty lines, unrehearsed giggles, and audience participation. 

My only critique is that the performance came to Theatr Clwyd for one day only as part of a Summer tour around the UK. If you get the chance to see it, do not hesitate to buy those tickets.