A fine outdoor outing for "the Scottish play." Liev Schreiber delivers the Main Thane with the requisite angst and bombast; and Jennifer Ehle, probably best known as Elizabeth Barrett in the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, cooks smoothly as Lady Mac, though the actress doesn't completely suppress an inner sweetness that doesn't seem Lady-Mac-the-Knife-like. Or perhaps that's just the reviewer's prejudice after her flavorful Prejudice turn. The now traditional use of a nontraditional setting places us in a drab-looking circa-World War I European country, which seems arbitrary if not a miscalculation, given that that era saw the last convulsions of monarchism and Macbeth is about its early convulsions, at least as experienced on those bleak highlands.
As the sleepwalking Queen, Jennifer Ehle (The Real Thing) is probably the most put-together Lady M you've ever seen — graceful, polished, and impossibly elegant in Michael Krass' haute-couture-style gowns. She's a Martha Stewart-like ice princess, and a worthy foil for Schreiber's King.
I beg to differ with your review of Macbeth at the Delacorte Theatre, especially with the assessment of Jennifer Ehle's performance as Lady Macbeth as a 'train wreck' because her character was feminine, ingratiating, mature, and was still so easily seduced by ambition.
Your writer missed the point of the production, which was also clarified by the depiction of the weird sisters as very aged camp followers (prostitutes).
This was that when women are whores to male aggression (and men demand that they be such), basic decency disappears and evil triumphs.
--Judith N. Newman, Manhattan
What reminded me of all this was reading today that MACBETH closed on Sunday in the park. And the female star, Lady Macbeth herself, was beautiful Jennifer Ehle, North Carolina born. Jennifer was fifteen when her father John Ehle brought her to my house, and that can't be over fifteen years ago. That means she is a quite young Lady Macbeth, but she really did get a good review full of compliments in THE NEW YORKER.
And an earlier post by Ms Kimball:
Jennifer was allowed to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, prohibited to Americans, which she is, because of her distinguished mother. About five years ago, the two of them, mother and daughter, were nominated for England's highest stage prize, the equivalent of our Oscar. And Rosemary was nominated for best supporting actress in this country.
(Actually CSSD not RADA).