Great Performances (1971– )
21 user 1 critic


Not Rated | | Music | Episode aired 6 October 2010
Sir Patrick Stewart stars in a gripping Tony-nominated production.


Rupert Goold


William Shakespeare (by)
2 nominations. See more awards »




Episode credited cast:
Patrick Stewart ... Macbeth
Kate Fleetwood ... Lady Macbeth
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Oliver Burch Oliver Burch ... Servant
Suzanne Burden Suzanne Burden ... Lady Macduff
Ben Carpenter Ben Carpenter ... Donalbain
Hugo Docking Hugo Docking ... Macduff Son
Lillian Dummer Lillian Dummer ... Macduff Daughter
Madeleine Dummer Madeleine Dummer ... Macduff Daughter
Michael Feast ... Macduff
Polly Frame Polly Frame ... Witch / Gentlewoman
Bertie Gilbert Bertie Gilbert ... Fleance
Scott Handy ... Malcolm
Sophie Hunter ... Witch
Hywel John Hywel John ... Bloody Sergeant
Christopher Knott Christopher Knott ... Old Siward


Sir Patrick Stewart stars in a gripping Tony-nominated production.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

6 October 2010 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Illuminations, KQED See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film switches the order of scenes 1 and 2 of act 1, having the wounded soldier talk about Macbeth and Banquo's prowess on the battlefield first and then following that up with the introduction of the witches. See more »


Version of Macbeth: Episode #1.3 (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

Dark, brooding production led by great performances from Stewart and Fleetwood
23 October 2015 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

On the day of his victory on the battlefield, Macbeth is told of his future by three sinister harpies – first as Thane, but then also as King. Sharing these visions with his wife, the two commence immediately to work towards this fate – with villainous murder and deception as the tools they choose to employ.

I have seen a few versions of this play now and while this one is not my favorite, it is one with plenty to love. Since the series that holds this film is called 'Great Performances', it does seem natural to start with that element of it and of course the performances are, as the title states, great. Stewart of course is the draw, and he plays his Macbeth really well; he keeps him believable and understandable whether he is being guided by his wife past his doubts and morals, and also when he is soaked in blood and mad with guilt. He would not be as good though were he not matched by a brilliant Lady Macbeth from Kate Fleetwood; she is by far the best I have seen this character played and she is utterly convincing in her manipulation and also in her madness. The support cast features a few faces and names you will know, but even if you do not, all of them are on-message with the tone of the production, and their performances are strong.

The tone of the production is very much set by the design of the piece. Shot entirely in Welbeck Abbey, the film does feel a little limited in some ways by the lack of variety in the location, but hard to complain as it brings so much more. Darkness, cold stone, a sense of war, and a genuine sense of creepy dread, all come across here really well. The lighting and framing of shots is equally great and while it is a very dark film visually, it is also one that has a lot of effective style to it. It does seem to run slower than it needed to at times, but it is a strong production, with two really great performances in the leads.

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