Shakespeare in the Cloister

11 July 2021
Shakespeare took centre stage in Norwich Cathedral’s Cloister as The Lord Chamberlain’s Men returned for this year’s open-air celebration of the Bard. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men are a modern-day incarnation of Shakespeare’s own travelling troupe of players and this year they played two performances of Macbeth against the historic backdrop of the 900-year-old Cathedral.
Macbeth at Norwich Cathedral

Enthralling both nights’ audiences from start to finish, the company presented a gripping production of one of the great wordsmith’s most famous plays just as it would have been performed in Shakespeare’s day, with an all-male cast, full Elizabethan costumes and traditional music and dance.

A tale of supernatural magic, vaulting ambition and the perils of an insatiable lust for power, Macbeth puts the spotlight on one of Shakespeare’s most chilling couples. Emerging victorious and decorated in war, Macbeth receives a thrilling pronouncement from three weird sisters who prophesy he will one day be King of Scotland. Overcome by ambition and driven on by his powerful wife, Macbeth sets in motion a terrible sequence of events from which there is no turning back.

As well as performing to two sold-out audiences, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men were also greeted by some high-flying visitors as the Cathedral’s resident peregrine falcons swooped around the spire during the performances.

Macbeth at Norwich Cathedral
Macbeth at Norwich Cathedral
Macbeth at Norwich Cathedral
Macbeth at Norwich Cathedral
Macbeth at Norwich Cathedral
Macbeth at Norwich Cathedral
Macbeth at Norwich Cathedral
Macbeth at Norwich Cathedral
Macbeth at Norwich Cathedral
Macbeth at Norwich Cathedral
Macbeth at Norwich Cathedral
Macbeth at Norwich Cathedral

The Revd Canon Andy Bryant, Canon for Mission and Pastoral Care at Norwich Cathedral, said: “It was wonderful to have The Lord Chamberlain’s Men return for this year’s Shakespeare Festival.
“After a challenging year in which so many events have been cancelled due to the pandemic, it was great to welcome back audiences with such a powerful production.”

Peter Stickney, TLCM’s Artistic Director, who grew up nearby in Saxlingham Nethergate, said: “We are lucky to perform at some extraordinary venues throughout the country and Norwich Cathedral is right up there as being one of the most stunning of them all.
"Bringing our tour to Norwich is a real treat; a magnificent setting, wonderful warm audiences (with us selling out faster and faster each year!) and the soaring peregrines giving us their seal approval. We can’t wait to return next year and, hopefully, for many more years to come.”