David Tennant and Cush Jumbo's acclaimed Macbeth heads to the West End

David Tennant and Cush Jumbo in Macbeth (Handout)
David Tennant and Cush Jumbo in Macbeth (Handout)

The Donmar’s landmark 2023 production of Macbeth, starring David Tennant and Cush Jumbo, will transfer to the West End later this year.

The celebrated, sell-out reimagining, directed by Max Webster, is coming to the Harold Pinter Theatre this October for a 10-week run.

“On Shakespeare’s birthday, we are thrilled to announce the West End transfer of the Donmar Warehouse’s critically acclaimed production of Macbeth, with the original company,” said producers Playful Productions, Wessex Grove and the Donmar in a join statement.

“Having played to capacity houses at the Donmar, it’s wonderful to be able to share this fabulous production with a wider audience.”

Webster’s haunting production received rave reviews, with critics calling it “tremendous” and “utterly arresting”; Tennant’s Macbeth was described as “refreshingly vile” and “vicious”.

Indeed, The Standard was blown away by Tennant: “It features the most emotionally committed Shakespearean performance I’ve seen Tennant give,” it said, adding: “Director Max Webster prunes the play with ruthless efficiency into an urgent 110 minutes and stages it with elegant simplicity.”

David Tennant and Cush Jumbo in the Donmar’s Macbeth (2023) (Marc Brenner)
David Tennant and Cush Jumbo in the Donmar’s Macbeth (2023) (Marc Brenner)

However the production divided critics over its use of requiring audiences to wear headphones, used to invited them into characters’ heads – to hear their whispers and creeping thoughts.

Some loved it: “The rich aural concept emphasises the eerie brilliance of Shakespeare’s dark, image-laden text,” said one reviewer, reflecting many. But others, like the Standard, found it a little off-putting: “David Tennant is magnificent, so why sex it up with headphones?”

Now audiences are being given a second opportunity to make up their own minds, with general tickets going on sale on April 25 at 10am. And, as part of an effort to truly make the play available to a wider audience, a third of the tickets for every performance will be priced at £35 or under.

The Donmar will also be extending its Donmar LOCAL programme to the West End, meaning young people from up to 10 schools in Camden and Westminster (find out more here) can see the production for free.

Macbeth, Harold Pinter Theatre, October 1 to December 14; haroldpintertheatre.co.uk