Macbeth Macbeth
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It’s the ‘war of the Macbeths’ – so which version of Shakespeare’s stabbiest king are you?

Something wicked this way comes…

Three things, actually, as the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal Opera House all stage very different versions of Macbeth at the same time.

So are you a grizzled soldier, a wasteland-wanderer or a lyrical killer?

The one played by Doctor Who

Broadcast live from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, 11 April

Former Who Christopher Eccleston sees Macbeth as a soldier, not a pampered prince, which explains his rage at seeing “a chinless blue-blood [Duncan] become king of Scotland”. There’s class politics in Eccleston’s portrayal, but when the plot turns murderous it becomes a look at toxic maleness. “He’s very insecure about his masculinity,” Eccleston says about Macbeth. With steely Niamh Cusack as Lady Macbeth, it’s no wonder this is all but sold out. See it with us and watch the sparks fly.

Get RSC Live: Macbeth tickets and times.

Royal Shakespeare Company: Macbeth Royal Shakespeare Company Live: Macbeth

The one that sings

Broadcast live from the Royal Opera House, 4 April

Giuseppe Verdi knew how to find the romantic soul within a vicious killer. You have to, when they’ve got an aria to sing. This sumptuous production of his 1847 opera is notably sympathetic to Lady Macbeth: celebrity soprano Anna Netrebko plays her with a keening sadness, the idea being that a lack of children is what motivates the couple’s murderous deeds. With Serbian baritone Željko Lui as Macbeth and ROH musical director Antonio Pappano (the BBC’s brilliant explainer of opera) conducting in person, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that needs to be seen up close and in world-filling HD.

Get The Royal Opera: Macbeth tickets and times.

Royal Opera House: Macbeth The Royal Opera: Macbeth

The one they’re called “Mad Max-beth”

Broadcast live from the National Theatre, 10 May

Director Rufus Norris might have called Macbeth and Lady Macbeth “Shakespeare’s most happily married couple,” but nothing about his apocalyptic staging of the Scottish play says wedded bliss: the set is dark and polluted, Rory Kinnear’s Macbeth wears a dirty vest, Anne-Marie Duff has unwashed hair. There’s a magic between these two hugely experienced actors, but this is a Macbeth with scary contemporary overtones. Seen on the big screen, it will feel like Mad Max in a lunatic asylum.

Get National Theatre Live: Macbeth tickets and times.

National Theatre Live: Macbeth National Theatre Live: Macbeth