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Picture of the Month - June 2011

This month we're focusing on an image of Antony Sher and Harriet Walter playing Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in the RSC's 1999 production, directed by Gregory Doran.

Helen Hargest
Macbeth 1999
Macbeth's heightened internal torment after the killing of Duncan.

Every month I will feature a  photograph from the Trusts's outstanding photographic collections. This month I am focusing on an image of Antony Sher and Harriet Walter playing the lead roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in the RSC's 1999 production at the Swan, directed by Gregory Doran. I think it is an extremely powerful  black and white image, which conveys so well Macbeth's heightened internal torment after the killing of Duncan. Reviewing the production for The Independent on Sunday, Robert Butler wrote, "As the derangement sets in, the whites of his gobstopper eyes seem to double in circumference."  In this production, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were very much partners in crime, and the image depicts brilliantly Harriet Walter's portrayal of  an edgy Lady Macbeth, initially self contained but increasingly frail as events unfold. This is a superb example of the skilful art of theatre photography, which at its best, conveys so effectively the atmosphere and tensions in a production.