Crime doesn't pay, and blood will have blood – so don't let your ambition get the better of you. Macbeth, hugely ambitious, steeped in blood, is egged on by his forceful wife and deceived by the forces of darkness to murder his king and gain the crown for himself.

But he and the notorious Lady Macbeth lose far more than they gain: gone are peace of mind, a good night's sleep, and the honour and respect of noble friends; the vacuum is filled with more and more blood, spilled to maintain a position worth less and less. In the end, of course, it leads to death and disaster all round, until order is ultimately restored.

As a play, Macbeth occupies a special place in theatre, extremely popular and cloaked in its own special mystique. At once a Tragedy and a History, its unique combination of a savage real world outmatched by a malevolent supernatural provides a stormy and colourful backdrop to the unfolding faults of men. Which of us can say we are without ambition, but how far would we go?


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