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Manbeth: Macbeth Amplified

After Shakespeare's Macbeth

fortyfive downstairs

Melbourne, AU


Manbeth wrenches the guts out of the original... thrusting it into a familiar world of violent desires and hunger for power. All this is done with remarkable skill on the part of the director and ensemble...


The piece is powered by a physicality... fusing sexuality to violence with startling effectiveness.

Joanna Bowen, Australian Stage.


...The first thing that strikes you about the show is its verbal's a testosterone-fuelled


Cameron Woodhead, The Age.


Director's Perspective


The mutable realities of Shakespeare’s tale and a loosely suggested ‘prison world’ collide in this re-telling of Macbeth. Shakespeare’s story is not ‘set in a prison’, neither is it ‘prisoners playing Macbeth’. It sits somewhere between the two and floats in and out of both realities.


In this incarceration, Macbeth has become two sides of himself. Ambition struggles with Conscience, which he finally overcomes and when Conscience kills himself, Macbeth’s megalomania is doubled in strength. Macbeth’s lover, The Lady, splits in two urging him into action.


The Lady is eventually discarded by Macbeth and without protection is left vulnerable to the sexual violence of prison life. Even with the changing of the guard violence will rule despite who gives the orders and ultimately the men must still return to their cells.


‘Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow…’


As long as violence begets violence, power and ambition will corrupt.



Directed and Adapted by Tanya Gerstle

Assistant Director: Anne-Louise Sarks

Stage Manager: Canada White

Lighting Design: Richard Whitehouse

Sound Design: Kade Greenland and Lachlan Woods
Produced by OpticNerve and Band of Creatures


Performers: Alexander England, Michael Steele, Ben Pfeiffer, Gabriel Partington, Kade Greenland, Anthony Taufa, Anthony West, Matt Furlani, Joshua Ryan and Lachlan Woods (Original Cast - Kevin Hofbauer, Kyle Baxter, Tom Conroy)


Green Room Nomination

Best Male Performer: Ben Pfeiffer

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