Alan Cumming Will Bring Toil and Trouble to Broadway in Solo Macbeth; John Tiffany Directs

By Adam Hetrick
31 Jan 2013

Alan Cumming
Alan Cumming

Tony and Olivier Award winner Alan Cumming will bring his one-man adaptation of Macbeth, staged by Tony-winning Once director John Tiffany, to Broadway this spring, according to the New York Times. The production, which played New York last summer at the Lincoln Center Festival, will begin previews April 7 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

Set in a psychiatric unit, Cumming plays a patient who is reliving the story of Macbeth. It premiered at the National Theatre of Scotland in June 2012 and played a New York run at the Rose Theatre in July 2012. Tiffany (Once, The Glass MenagerieBlack Watch, The Bacchae) directs the production with Andrew Goldberg (The Bomb-itty of Errors). Opening is April 21 for a limited run through June 30. Ken Davenport (Godspell, Somewhere in Time, Altar Boyz) produces the Broadway run.

Last year Cumming released a two-disc audiobook format of his solo Macbeth for Simon & Schuster.

Tiffany previously directed Cumming (Cabaret, Threepenny Opera, The Seagull) in The Bacchae, which was seen at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2008. Cumming made his stage debut as Malcolm in the Michael Boyd production of Macbeth in Glasgow.



Cumming inhabits all of the characters in Shakespeare's bloody work, which is performed without an intermission. It has a running time of one hour and 45 minutes. Two additional actors to be announced will join Cumming for the Broadway run.

The production has scenic and costume design by Merle Hensel, lighting design by Natasha Chivers, sound design by Fergus O'Hare, video projection design by Ian William Galloway, voice by Ros Steen, movement by Christine Devaney and music by Max Richter.

According to producers, "Macbeth is set in a clinical room deep within a dark psychiatric unit. Cumming is the lone patient, reliving the infamous story and inhabiting each role himself. Closed circuit television cameras watch the patient's every move as the walls of the psychiatric ward come to life in a visually stunning multi-media theatrical experience of Shakespeare's notorious tale of desire, ambition and the supernatural."

"Performing Macbeth last year was the most challenging and fulfilling experience of my career by far, and so I am both honoured and daunted to do it again in my adopted hometown of New York City," Cumming said in a statement. "I'm also proud of the fact that the National Theatre of Scotland is directly funded by the Scottish government and I cannot think of a better way to trumpet Scotland and its commitment to the arts than being a Scotsman doing his National Theatre's production of the Scottish play on the Great White Way."

Cumming's screen credits include his Emmy-nominated performance on "The Good Wife," as well as "Goldeneye," "Spy Kids," "X2: X-Men United," "Titus," "Eyes Wide Shut," "The Tempest," "Sweet Land," "Sex and the City," "Frasier" and "Tinman."

Tickets are now on sale via Telecharge.com. Visit MacbethonBroadway.com.