cover image Macbeth


William Shakespeare, read by Alan Cumming. Simon & Schuster Audio, unabridged, 2 CDs, 2 hrs., $14.99 ISBN 978-1-4423-5593-4

Shakespeare's tragedy about the ill-fated thane of Cawdor is brought to life via this one-man interpretation from Alan Cumming. Motivated by his scheming wife, Macbeth lusts for and then takes power, which leads to regicide and his own undoing. Building upon his performance in the audio edition of A.J. Hartley and David Hewson's Macbeth: A Novel, Cumming executes a captivating solo performance of this classic play. With an authentic Scottish accent, Cumming ably embodies Lord Macbeth. He shifts from character to character seamlessly, capturing the tone, attitude, and emphasis of each, while providing an increasing intensity that conveys the reprehensible, irreparable nature of the title character's actions. In addition to embracing the various characters, Cumming's powerful performance even elevates the play's stage directions, which%E2%80%94rather than feeling like crude interruptions to the dialogue%E2%80%94slip in smoothly like the knife used to slay King Duncan. (July)