Scottish play casts a spell

Chris Taylor applauds the Bar Shakespeare Coterie's Macbeth

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair,” say the witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth. And sexually-charged “wyrd sisters” and black leather helped make the point in the latest offering from the Bar Shakespeare Coterie.

The Coterie, formed in 1994 by Simon Tracey, the com pany's artistic director and a pupil at Barnard's Inn Chambers, brings professional actors alongside the Bar's theatrical talent. And its production, at the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London, made up for a lack of visual spectacle with a taut, emotional portrait of the power-hungry Macbeth and his fall from grace.

Professional actors Ian Rose and Julia Holding, as Macbeth and his wife, brought fierce sexuality to their roles, but the cast's legal representatives were by no means outshone.

Michael Maher, of Hollis Whiteman Chambers, Temple, played a purposeful Macduff, Martin Mulgrew, of solicitors Farrell Matthew Weir, gave a vivid portrayal of a friendship wronged as the doomed Banquo, and Nicola Turner, of Counsels' Chambers, Gray's Inn, with professionals Natalie Slater and Charlotte Roach, brought a sensuality to the traditionally crone-like witches.

Lust for sex and power were intertwined in this most entertaining production to make it a fair tale of foul deeds.

The production runs until 7 September and tickets cost £8/£6. Contact: 0181 741 2255.