“All Hail Macbeth!” Barbican Theatre return to Plymouth’s Royal William Yard with their fourth #BardInTheYard open air production this summer

Barbican Theatre is delighted to announce it will be bringing a highly visual and accessible version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth to the stunning Residence One Garden at Royal William Yard this summer (31 July – 11 August)

The fourth production in our popular ’Bard in the Yard’ programme, Macbeth follows three hugely successful previous summer productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2015), Romeo & Juliet (2016) and Twelfth Night (2017). This production is part of Barbican Theatre’s commitment to creating high quality, accessible work while supporting and developing local talent.

Macbeth is a good man, a courageous war hero, respected and loyal. He recognises an opportunity for advancement, he is talented, ambitious….and his wife even more so.  But what lengths will he go to secure his power and what will he do with this power? Set in a war torn country Macbeth is a powerful metaphor for our times. This is a breath-taking and bloody story of ambition, treachery, power and guilt.  Highly visual, energised and accessible this re-telling of the classic Shakespeare play uses the extraordinary skills of local professional actors and emerging artists.

Twelfth Night 2017 (credit Gemma Ward)

Dan Baker, producer for Barbican Theatre on Macbeth, says

“Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most well-known plays, and one which resonates with our own times – a tale of corruption, murder and paranoia, with central characters obsessed with power for power’s sake. After the success of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night we know Macbeth will be an exceptional experience when produced specifically for the garden at Residence One. I’m really looking forward to seeing what our talented cast and creative team make, and I’m sure it’s something Plymouth audiences will love.”

Barbican Theatre’s Chief Executive Officer Sheila Snellgrove says

“Barbican Theatre is committed to creating high quality, accessible work while supporting and developing local talent. This isn’t just about the actors and director but also everyone behind the scenes; our technicians, designers, ushers, stage managers and volunteers are all local to Plymouth and demonstrate Barbican Theatre’s principles and values.“


Romeo & Juliet 2016 (credit Gemma Ward)

​M​ore than 180 professional and emerging actors applied for roles in Macbeth, which is the highest number of applications we’ve ever had. We are excited to announce the actors playing the leading roles as Hassan Maarfi (Macbeth) and Seren Vickers (Lady Macbeth).

Plymouth-born Hassan is currently touring with the prestigious Vienna’s English Theatre in a production of A Family Affair, returning to the UK in June to start rehearsals for Macbeth. Hassan trained for three years at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and has also undertaken training with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Frantic Assembly and Complicité. This won’t be Hassan’s first portrayal of Macbeth; he appears in the title role in a feature film adaptation (supported by Sir Ian McKellen) which is due for release at Raindance Film Festival later this year. He has also appeared in Our Man In Havana at Chichester Festival Theatre. 

Seren is currently performing in Katell Keinig’s Highway One at Wales Millennium Centre until June and has recently played Regan in Shifting Sands Theatre’s Company The King Lear. She trained for three years at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, receiving first class with honours. Upon completing her training Seren won the Sarah Siddons prize for outstanding classical performance for her portrayal of Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew. Her professional debut, as Andrea in Philip Ridley’s one-woman play, Dark Vanilla Jungle, was short-listed for Best Female Performance at the Wales Theatre Awards. Seren has also performed with Run Amok Theatre Company at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and with Cardiff’s respected Sherman Theatre Company. 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream 2015 (credit Gemma Ward)

In addition to Hassan and Seren a further 6 actors, all with local connections, will join this ensemble production. Our Plymouth based Director, Jo Loyn, began her career as an actor 40 years ago with Plymouth Theatre Company (before the Theatre Royal was built!) and was a founding member of Drumbeat. She has worked with Red Ladder, Young National Trust Theatre Company and Dr Fosters and was also an associate artist with Barbican Theatre for many years. Jo has directed a number of stage productions including Cornonation Street baddie Connor McIntyre (Phelan) in Berkoff’s ‘Harry’s Christmas’! Recently Jo directed Barbican Theatre’s regional tour of Jon Nash’s Why Would You?

Dan Baker continues,

“Jo is a fantastic director and her passion for, and knowledge of, Shakespeare shines through in her plans for this production. I have no doubt her modern, energised interpretation of this intense, dramatic tale will leave audiences gripped and longing for more. If you think you don’t you like Shakespeare we urge you to give our version a go – this production of Macbeth will offer a unique theatrical experience in a beautiful outdoors setting!”  

A total of 14 performances will be staged outdoors in the stunning Residence One ‘secret garden’ at Royal William Yard from 31 July to 11 August

31 July – 3 August, 7pm

4 & 5 August 2pm and 7pm

7-10 August, 7pm

11 August 2pm and 7pm

A fully licenced bar will be provided by The B-Bar. We are currently discussing food being served by Bistrot Pierre in the garden. Barbican Theatre are also excited to be partnering with Column Bakehouse to offer locally sourced picnic boxes (including delicious bread from the Column Bakehouse ovens!) to be enjoyed during Macbeth performances that will also be available to pre-order when you book tickets.

In the event of wet weather making us unable to perform outdoors, performances of Macbeth will be moved to The Plymouth Athenaeum (Derry’s Cross, Plymouth PL1 2SW).

Barbican Theatre’s production of Macbeth is proudly sponsored by Plymouth Marjon University and Column Bakehouse.

 Tickets are priced at Full £19, Concessions £17 (under 16s, students, over 60s and registered disabled), inclusive of all booking fees and charges.  Plus buy 10 tickets and get the 11th free! Buy tickets 24 hours a day on our website,  in person at the Barbican Theatre (11am – 6pm Monday to Friday) or by calling 01752 267131 (11am – 6pm Monday to Friday).