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On Stage: Claudie Blakley set to play Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' play

Claudie Blakley (in promo poster for Macbeth with co-star Geoffrey Straitfeild via Sheffield Theatres) is currently rehearsing for her upcoming stage play titled Macbeth, in which she will play the female lead role of Lady Macbeth. Macbeth runs at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, from Wednesday September 5th through Saturday October 6th.

Delve into the minds of Shakespeare’s two most notorious villains.

Macbeth, Shakespeare’s psychological thriller of irrepressible ambition, is a potent cocktail of deception, witchcraft and murder. Join us and be drawn into the minds of a couple who will stop at nothing in their unscrupulous crusade for power.

This compelling, large-scale production, directed by Sheffield Theatres’ Artistic Director Daniel Evans, is staged in-the-round.

The sixteen-strong cast are led by Geoffrey Streatfeild (Spooks) in the role of the Macbeth and Claudie Blakley (Lark Rise to Candleford) as his manipulative and driven wife.
For more Macbeth and tickets info, visit the Sheffield Theatres website.

Also, the lovely Claudie Blakley (who is also tweeting whenever she can on twitter, much like her former P&P co-star Talulah Riley), just did a new interview from UK's Yorkshire Post to promote her new play.

Read part of Claudie's interesting interview (via Yorkshire Post) as well as see two rehearsal photos of her below...

Macbeth Rehearsal Photos: Claudie Blakley as Lady Macbeth

Claudie Blakley: Actress swaps gentle costume drama for Shakespeare’s dark tale of betrayal
Claudie Blakley made her name in TV period dramas. Now, as she takes on Lady Macbeth in a new production at The Crucible, she talks to Chris Bond.

WHEN it comes to female stage roles they don’t come much bigger than Lady Macbeth.
Shakespeare’s portrait of searing ambition is up there with Lady Bracknell, the unflinching battleship in The Importance of Being Earnest or Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and four centuries after The Bard first created arguably his greatest female character, she remains one of the toughest challenges an actress can face.

Claudie Blakley is the latest to take on the role in a new production of Macbeth which opens at Sheffield’s Crucible theatre next month. The pared-down production, directed by Daniel Evans, also stars Geoffrey Streatfeild in the title role, and for Blakley, best known for playing Emma Timmins in the BBC’s hugely popular TV series Lark Rise to Candleford, it’s a chance to follow in the footsteps of such luminaries as Vivien Leigh and Dame Judi Dench.

“It is something of a departure from the roles I get normally, but ever since I first read the play I’ve been a bit obsessed with Lady Macbeth. I’ve always wanted to play her, so when this offer came out of the blue I jumped at it,” she says. “I don’t think it gets any more challenging than this. We always want to play somebody who is very different from ourselves. It was gorgeous playing Emma Timmins, but to get my teeth into something like this is really exciting.”

She nearly became a singer like her sister but opted to go to drama school instead. Her first professional role was as Ophelia in a production of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the National Theatre, not a bad start for a budding actress.

“To begin with I was predominantly doing theatre and when I look back I think that was a brilliant way in because I got to work with great people like Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench and I’m thankful because it really gave me such a good foundation.”

Her appearance alongside McKellen in The Seagull at West Yorkshire Playhouse earned her the Ian Charleson Award and she has fond memories of her time in Leeds. “I learned so much from him [McKellen], his inventiveness and how his brain is so alive with ideas, as well as his work ethic. During rehearsals I never saw him without a script in his hand because he said the script has all the clues and he’s right.”

As well as stage work, she has appeared in notable TV series such as Cranford and several films including Pride and Prejudice and Gosford Park, in which she lined up alongside some of the cream of British acting talent. 

Despite making a name for herself in costume dramas like this, Blakley has enjoyed shaking off this staid image recently. “I’ve just finished doing Comedy of Errors with Lenny Henry which was brilliant, I was able to reinvent myself a bit because it was a modern version and I got to wear a tight red dress and play a sexy role. It was great because all I seemed to be playing recently was spinsters and I’m like ‘hello, I can do other roles’,” she says, laughing.

“But that’s one of the hardest things about this business you have to keep breaking the mould otherwise people start to think you can only play certain roles. But at the same time people see me as a character actor and that’s cool with me.”
Read Claudie Blakley's full interview here!

Claudie Blakley/Macbeth related articles


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