Is This a Dagger? The Story of Macbeth review at Scottish Storytelling Centre – ‘inventive and clever’

Andy Cannon in Is this a dagger? The story of Macbeth Andy Cannon in Is This a Dagger? The Story of Macbeth
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Andy Cannon brings his storyteller’s arts to Shakespeare’s Macbeth in a one-man show that is aimed perfectly at audiences aged seven or over. It is a bloody tale, and Cannon’s telling is fluid enough for him to emphasise or fudge the more gruesome elements depending on his audience.

Dread murder is also tempered with effects and props which bring comedy to the stage. Brightly coloured sun glasses for the witches, a map of Scotland which magically folds up to create a crown, a Pringles pot in which to place a decidedly un-bloody wooden sword and Marigold gloves for an obsessive Lady Macbeth.

Such distance allows Cannon to get right into the cracks of the story and expose first its structure and the relationships of characters, and then provide a real sense of the meaning of some of the more arcane words.

It is an inventive and clever show, providing plenty of entertainment as Cannon slips between one carefully and clearly delineated character and another. But Cannon’s triumph comes when he turns the fiction round, so as to expose the historical truth of Macbeth’s life, and then provide a new perspective on Shakespeare’s play in the light of its role in James’ court.

Compelling telling of Macbeth that opens the story right out