GREED and power seem to be things which go hand-in-hand.

The story of a person seeking power for personal gain is one that has been told for centuries, and with the current political and economic climate it is one that people are seeing more and more.

It is this backdrop which forms the basis of a new retelling of Shakespeare’s tale of Macbeth, but it has been pushed into 1987 at a time of financial crisis.

The Proteus Theatre Company has put its own spin on the story of ambition and power by placing the audience right in the middle of a trading floor during a stock market crash.

“What people don’t realise is there are a lot of comparisons to the time we are living in now,” director Mary Swan tells The Gazette.

“Macbeth is a story of power and corruption, betrayal and sudden violence set within a country divided against itself.

“By placing it firmly in the 1980s we are able to give Shakespeare’s work a contemporary feel and pull on themes that are still impacting people today.”

Set to the soundtrack of the 1980s, the show interrogates how Thatcher’s government legitimised behemoth corporations to act above the law.

The entirely ethnically diverse cast have worked closely with Theatre Ad Infinitum’s George Mann to create a highly physical, major new interpretation of one of the play writes classics.

For Swan working with this cast was an opportunity to put more people of ethnic backgrounds front and centre.

She added: “I have worked with them before and I know they are all a great bunch of actors.

“The thing in theatre is that leading roles may not be given to people of ethnic backgrounds and that can isolate an audience.

“If young people don’t see themselves reflected on the stage then we are neglecting them, I hope that one day that won’t be the case.”

Riz Meedin, who has appeared in The Bill, The Fifth Element and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen will play Macbeth, and he will be joined by Alexandra Afryea as Lady Macbeth along with Danny Charles, Jessica Andrade and Umar Butt.

For the cast, they have all had different relationships with Shakespeare’s work, with Andrade studying the subject at drama school, but with Butt never really delving into this world until now.

Butt told The Gazette: “I think there is something really interesting about the material.

“When I was told the concept, it took me a while to understand, but when we go to working and had Mary’s direction along with the music everything fell into place.

“I wouldn’t say that I love Shakespeare now, but I have an appreciation.”

Afryea added: “If this was my first exposure to Shakespeare I would find it really exciting, so hopefully we can get that across in the shows.”

Proteus Theatre Company’s adaptation of Macbeth will run at the Haymarket on March 14 and 15 with two performances each day. For more details and tickets, go to