Next week, on 29 March 2022, former 007 Daniel Craig will give his Macbeth.
The global superstar Daniel Craig will tread the boards at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway in Shakespeare’s classic play, taking the title role of Macbeth alongside acclaimed actress Ruth Negga (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Passing), who makes her Broadway theatre debut as Lady Macbeth.
Daniel Craig was last on stage in a 2013 in a revival of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal on Broadway, opposite his wife, Rachel Weisz. Ruth Negga was last on stage in London in 2011, in a revival of Playboy of the Western World as Pegeen Mike, at the Old Vic Theatre.
The play is directed by Tony Award winner Sam Gold, who directed Fun Home and A Doll’s House, Part 2 – which is coming to the Donmar this season; and produced by James Bond movie producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson. They also produced Daniel Craig in Othello in 2016 at New York Theatre Workshop, which was also directed by Sam Gold.
The producer siblings have also produced plenty of other shows in the West End and on Broadway through their Eon Productions company, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, based on a book by Bond author Ian Fleming; Chariots of Fire; Once The Musical; The Band’s Visit (which is also heading to the Donmar this year); The Country Girls; Love Letters; The Kid Stays in the Picture; and Strangers on a Train.
Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga are joined in Macbeth by Phillip James Brannon as Ross, Grantham Coleman as MacDuff, Asia Kate Dillon as Malcolm, Maria Dizzia as Lady Macduff, Amber Gray as Banquo, Emeka Guindo as Fleance, Paul Lazar as Duncan, Bobbi MacKenzie as Macduff’s Child, Michael Patrick Thornton as Lennox, and Danny Wolohan as Seyton. The ensemble will be completed by Che Ayende, Eboni Flowers and Peter Smith . Stevie Ray Dallimore joins as the standby for Daniel Craig.
Barbara Broccoli recently told The Times that the production of Macbeth is “something extraordinary to behold”. And speaking on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last month, Craig said that his return to the Broadway stage was “terrifying,” but that he wanted to help Broadway make its comeback: “There’s so many industries have had such a terrible time, but especially the entertainment industry, especially Broadway. I’m part of the theater community in this in this town and very proudly part of it….I want to be part of that and trying to help Broadway get back on its feet again.”
Three cheers for that, and we also hope he feels the same way about the West End, which may have been shut down for less days than Broadway, but has been equally disrupted.
The Exec producer of the show is Eon’s theatrical head Patrick Daly, whose past theatre credits include a shed load of US – and West End – theatre, such as Chimerica, Olivier Award winner The Mountaintop, August: Osage County, Nina Raine’s Tribes, and The Effect by Lucy Prebble with the National Theatre. He was also involved in the West and Broadway productions of Tony Award winners Once and The Band’s Visit. All of which is a good sign for a London transfer.
Othello may not have transferred from Broadway to the West End, but there is growing hope that Macbeth may be different.