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Macbeth at the Redcliffe Caves


8th June - 14th July, 2016

Previews 3rd & 4th June, 2016


"One of the most inspired productions in recent times" (Theatre Bath) returns by popular demand to the Redcliffe Caves for an extended 6-week run. 

What audiences are saying about the 2016 production:

"Some times in life you do things that are really worth the journey, worth your time and worth waiting for. This was one of them. Thank you Insane Root for your wonderful, exciting, passionate, beautiful and talented performance of MacBeth. I can't help feeling that I am part of a very exclusive group of people." - Tracey (Facebook)

"I honestly can't imagine I will ever see a better performance of Shakespeare than this. The fantastically lit caves provided the perfect backdrop and the promenade style along with the intimacy provided by the cramped conditions and wonderful performances from the cast led to an unforgettable experience. This is truly moving theatre and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone, even if you think you don't like Shakespeare!" - Paul (Facebook)

"@insane_root 's production of #Macbeth at #redcliffcaves, had me trembling like a child. Atmospheric, immersive, exciting. Go if you can!" - Hannah (Twitter)

In war-torn Scotland a new power rises; Supernatural prophecy and

naked ambition combine to crown the warrior Macbeth as king. 


Follow this once loyal soldier into the Redcliffe caves and experience Shakespeare’s

darkest tragedy anew. Specifically adapted to respond to this unique local landmark, Insane Root invites you to meet witches in the shadows, eavesdrop on secret plots and witness bloody murder.  


As reality and madness begin to blur, the war drums sound once more. 

Be careful not to lose your way in the dark... 


This is a promenade performance, and will include walking around the venue. Unfortunately this venue does not have wheelchair access but we can accommodate some mobility issues. Please wear sturdy and sensible shoes when attending the performance. The caves get very chilly so warm layers are advised.


Unsuitable for children under the age of 12. | Running time: 1 hour, 45 mins (no interval)



Ben Crispin - Macbeth

Chris Donnelly - Duncan / Macduff

James Keningale - Witch / Malcolm / Doctor

Andrew Kingston - Porter / Ross

Rebecca Newman - Witch / Lennox / Macduff's Child / Young Siward

Zachary Powell - Banquo / Murderer

Nicola Stuart-Hill - Lady Macbeth / Lady Macduff / Witch



Chris Collier - Stage Manager

Hannah Drake - Director / Adapter

Stuart Duncan - Poster Design

Jonathan Howell - Fight Director

James Lisk - Stage Manager

Edmund McKay - Lighting Designer & Technical Manager

Justin Palmer - Producer / Adapter

Michael Palmer - Assistant Stage Manager

Zachary Powell - Fight Captain / Additional Fight Choreography

Ellie Showering - Musical Director

Sarah Warren - Costume Designer

Nick Woods - Construction




Ben Crispin - Macbeth

Adam Ford - Camera / LX

Philippa Whateley - Editor

Filmed on-location in the Redcliffe Caves

December 2014




Rehearsal Photography by Lisa Hounsome


Production Photography by Jamie Corbin


Stage Manager

Chris is a Stage Manager, Director, Devisor and Improviser. He studied Theatre amongst the cow patted fields of Dartington College of Arts graduating in 2007. He now works with many Bristol based companies including Kid Carpet, Pickled Image, Fellswoop and Mufti Games. Chris is also co Artistic Director and Technical Manager of The Wardrobe Theatre since 2011.


Ben graduated from Cygnet Training Theatre in 2009 and originated the role of Macbeth in Insane Root's 2015 production.


Theatre includes: Ensemble in Antons Shorts and Frazzer in The Bedminster Bigfoot (Stepping Out theatre dir. by Marc Geoffrey); Ensemble in The Most Effective Drum at Cotham parish church (dir. by Peter Clifford); Bob Barratt and Folk Club Ken in Scrumpy and Western (south west mini tour, dir. Amanda Horlock); Mike in Nets (Theatre West, dir. David Lockwood); Spurio in The Revenger’s Tragedy (Gentleman Jack Theatre, dir. Justin Palmer); Lavatch in All’s Well that Ends Well (Gentleman Jack theatre, dir. Phillip Perry); Scrooge in A Christmas Carol; Smoke and Mirrors (The Bike Shed Theatre, dir. David Lockwood); Percy Shelley in Romantics (Pale Fire, dir. James Vietch); John Clare in The Fool (The Cock Tavern, dir. Edward Bond); Gary in Cul-de-Sac (the Bike Shed Theatre, dir. Charlie Coldfield); Ensemble in The Little Prince (The Bike Shed Theatre, dir David Lockwood, Fin Irwin); Steamer in Beanfield (The Bike Shed Theatre, dir. David Lockwood). Roles whilst training include: Prospero in The Tempest, Theseus in The Two Noble Kinsmen, Mark in After the End, Aimwell in The Beaux’ Stratagem, Percy Shelley in Bloody Poetry.


Television Includes: Jesus in Holy Flying Circus (Hillbilly Films, BBC,dir. Owen Harris); Ash in Rapture (BBC, dir. Ethan Race).

Duncan / Macduff

Chris is delighted to be working with Insane Root in their exciting production of Macbeth in the Redcliffe caves, having just returned from a six month tour of America, where he performed the role of Bottom in a critically acclaimed production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has enjoyed working with that company on previous tours, playing Feste in Twelfth Night and the title role in Macbeth.

Chris has also had the pleasure of being part of the highly acclaimed, award winning Shakespeare At The Tobacco Factory theatre company ensemble since its inception in 2000, enjoying such roles Launce (Two Gentlemen of Verona), Bottom (MSND), Stephano (The Tempest), Iago (Othello), Autolycus in (The Winter’s Tale), Pompey (Measure For Measure), Tranio, (Taming of the Shrew), Puck (MSND, Lollio (The Changeling) and Diomedes, (Troilus and Cressida).

He has also worked extensively in London, regional repertory theatres and full scales tours, playing roles including Horst in Bent, (nominated for an Evening Standard award for best actor), Skullery (Road), Billy (Billy Liar), Tony (Abiail’s Party), Coleman (Lullabies of Broadmoor), Richard (The Country),  (The Edge of Darkness).

Chris’ TV credits, include No Offence, The Muskateers, Derren Brown – Faith & Fear, Prime Suspect, Vital Signs, Fat Friends, Silent Witness, Reckless, The Verdict, Wire In The Blood, Wycliffe, Drop The Dead Donkey, Casualty, Doctors and the character of Damion Spinks in Eastenders.

Chris has also been fortunate enough to record many plays for BBC Radio 3 and 4 and Poetry Please, including Soldier Soldier, Call Waiting and Gilgamesh – all award winning dramas.

Chris has also gained much experience running many workshops in schools and universities and presently runs the Education/Outreach arm of Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory. He teaches Acting and Voice on a freelance basis and enjoys directing/teaching at his old drama school, the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, when available.

Director / Adapter

Hannah trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, where she won the Elsa Roberts Prize for Directing, and the Rondo Theatre, where she is now Associate Director. 


Recent Directing credits include: The Ruff Guide to Shakespeare (Take Thou That), Macbeth at the Redcliffe Caves 2015 (Insane Root), NewsRevue (Canal Cafe Theatre), Julius Caesar (Take Thou That), The Snow Maiden (BS13 Company), Canopy of Stars (Theatre West), Lockdown (Bath Theatre Royal), 100 Miles North of Timbuktu / A Lonely Place (Theatre West), East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Homespun), An Act of Twisting (Provocation), Product Displacement (Edible), Convicts, Conflict & Love (Bolton Octagon), Fertility Objects (Butterfly Psyche). 


As Assistant Director: Lighthearted Intercourse (Bolton Octagon), Unrestless (Old Vic New Voices) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (SATTF).  Hannah is a regular Visiting Director for the University of Cumbria and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and has directed for Bath Spa University. | @HannahDrakeUK

Witch / Malcolm / Doctor

James trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. 


Theatre includes: The White Rabbit in Alice's Advebtures Underground and Woodrow Gobble in The Marvellous Imaginary Mengarie (Les Enfants Terribles), Son in We're Going on a Bear Hunt (USA tour), Lieutenant Pokorny in The Last Days of Mankind (Bristol Old Vic), Nicholas Ludd in Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats Of Loneliness (Alma Tavern), Hogarth in The Wicked Lady (Circomedia), Shadow in That’s Entertainment (Barons Court Theatre), Trevor in Public Housing (Theatre Absolute), Angel/Lot in The Dark Carnival (Old Vic), Eric in Holding (Oxford Playhouse), Macheath in Threepenny Opera (Warwick Arts Centre), John Milton in An Evening With Oliver Cromwell (Bird of Prey Theatre company), Spectator 2 in Play Without a Title (Fail Better Productions, Belgrade Theatre). 

Porter / Ross

Andrew studied drama at the University of Bristol, before completing his postgraduate diploma at Birmingham School of Acting.


He has since appeared in The Emperor Jones at the National Theatre, The Revenger's Tragedy and All's Well That Ends Well with Gentleman Jack Theatre, and Infectious with Welded Theatre. Andrew has co-devised and appeared in three Wardrobe Theatre Christmas shows; Oedipuss in Boots, which also toured to Brighton and Exeter's Bike Shed Theatre, 2014's sell out show Muppits Die Hard, and 2015's Goldilock Stock and Three Smoking Bears. Andrew is a series regular in the Wardrobe Theatre's flagship improvised soap opera Closer Each Day.

Stage Manager

James has recently completed a Stage Management degree from Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Macbeth has been his first professional production since graduating. 


Theatre credits in education include: Narrative (SM), Just Add Water (Technical Manager, Cardiff and Prague), The London Cuckolds (DSM), Reasons to be Pretty (DSM), Joy House (ASM), Unity 1918 (ASM),.

Professional credits include: BEASTS: Solo (Edinburgh Fringe & Chapter Theatr), Venue 13 (Edinburgh Fringe Venue), Dylathon (Wales Theatre Company & SC Productions)


Surprisingly, this is James' first show in a cave.

Lighting Designer & Technical Manager

Edmund studied theatre design at Aberystwyth University & Central School of Speech & Drama. He focuses predominantly on lighting designs but also undertakes stage design alongside this when the opportunity arises. He is co-artistic director of Bristol based Welded Theatre company and was the set and lighting designer for their 2015 show INFECTIOUS.


His past work in theatre & opera includes: MACBETH by Insane Root 2015; DOGTAG for Theatre West; HOTEL OPERA (Fellswoop); THE SUICIDE,THE COMMUNE, AS YOU LIKE IT, BROKEN HEART, SWAN SONG & THREE SISTERS, ANTHONY & CLEOPATRA (all for CSSD); ALLS WELL THAT ENDS WELL & REVENGERS TRAGEDY (Gentleman Jack Theatre); BEACHY HEAD (Analogue); THE CARNIVAL (Kompany Malakhi & Charody Productions). Past work in dance includes: THE WORLD BEHIND WALLS (Jessie Brett & Addisu Demissie); HOW I FADED & DISINTEGRATED (Saun Taun John); GIG, THE FACTORY (Co-lighting Designer: Earthfall Dance company). Previous installations include ISOLATED RESPONSE (Net Audio Festival 2009) & BUILT TO LAST (Chapter Studio 2011).

Rebecca Newman
Witch / Lennox / Macduff's Child / Young Siward

Rebecca trained at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and graduated in 2012. 

Since then her credits have included: Wendy in 'Peter Pan' (Sherman Cymru), Juliet in 'Romeo and Juliet' (Black Rat Productions), Jane in 'The Diary of Samuel Pepys' (BBC Radio 4), Holly in 'Nothing Gold' (Met Film School), Edward III in 'Edward II' (Blue Orange Theatre), Gertie in 'Home Fires Burning' (Big Script), Shell in 'A Canopy of Stars' (Theatre West) and Ally Hunter in 'Casualty' (BBC). 

Rebecca has also spent a year touring Germany with 'Flying Fish Theatre,' a children's theatre company. 


Rebecca has recently started writing and producing her own work. Her first play 'The Enduring Romance of Cathy and Heathcliff' was featured as part of The Lichfield Garrick Theatres 2016 'Garrick Introducing Programme,' which helps to support and promote new theatre makers. She also regularly writes and acts for new writing theatre festival '14/48' in Leicester. 

Rebecca is over the moon to be a part of the 'Macbeth' company and this incredibly unique experience. 

Producer / Adapter

Justin trained as an actor at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and the University of Bristol. He has worked extensively across the UK in theatre, film, TV and voiceover, and is an Associate Director of critically acclaimed Gentleman Jack Theatre.


Stage includes: Infectious (Welded Theatre), Twelfth Night (Rondo), Three Ships (Theatre West), All’s Well That Ends Well, The Revenger’s Tragedy & Timon of Athens (all Gentleman Jack), Converging Paths (Slung Low), Fertility Objects (Butterfly Psyche), After Dark (Bike Shed), 24 Hour Plays (Theatre Royal Bath), Mapping the City (Slung Low/Hull Truck), Drive in Deco (Part Exchange), The Mourning Few (Miniaturists/Arcola), 86,400 Seconds (FTC), Beyond the Front Line (Slung Low/Lowry), Romeo and Juliet (Bristol Old Vic).


TV includes: Trollied (Sky One), Crimewatch (BBC).

Banquo / Murderer / Fight Captain & Additional Fight Choreography

Zachary trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.


His past theatre credits include Second Lieutenant Jarvis in Shot at Dawn (Doppelganger productions), Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing (Vienna's English Theatre), Tristan in Stardust by Neil Gaiman (Forest Forge theatre company), Lieutenant Povolny in The Last Days of Mankind by Karl Kraus (Bristol Theatre Royal), Lysimachus in Pericles (Redgrave Theatre), Eddie in Stags and Hens by Willy Russell and Macheath in Brecht's Threepenny Opera (Hull Truck Theatre).


Zachary is an actor and theatre practitioner based in Bristol. He is delighted to be working on this debut production with Insane Root and to have the chance to explore this classic play in a new and exciting environment.

Musical Director / Composer

Ellie is a Bristol based singer, performer and composer who specialises in a capella and music in a theatrical context. Since graduating from Dartington College of Arts in 2009 with a degree in Contemporary Music Performance, their collaborative work has ranged from intimate shows designed for an audience of one to sold out theatre tours across the UK and Europe. Looking to push the limitations of the human voice, they actively seek out challenging and engaging performance and composition work. 

Ellie is delighted to be working with Insane Root again.

Lady Macbeth / Lady Macduff / Witch

Nicola is pleased to be a part of  the 2016 Macbeth cast again. 


Previous theatre includes:  N01 tour Corrie New Zealand, Speed The Plow; Theatre Royal Winchester, Mother Goose; Oxford Playhouse, Look Back In Anger; Vienna's English Theatre, new play The Garden; Riverside Studios; Bathhouse; Assembly Rooms Edinburgh, Secrets From The  Long Grass; Brockley Jack Studio, It Could Happen To You; Soho Theatre, Lead Us Into Temptation; The Old Red Lion, The Persians; Theatro Technis.


Currently in BBC series's  Thirteen, Hetty Feather.  National cinema release of The Honourable Rebel.  Other film work includes Deep Lies, Fanny Hill and several shorts including Enough Rope opp Vicky McClure, Diego's Story opp Marc Elliot and most recently a Film London short with Larrington Walker

Costume Designer

Sarah Warren graduated from The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School In July 2011 after completing an MA in Theatre Design as an award winning student. Prior to this she studied fine art and became involved in film and theatre when she worked as a set builder, painter and model maker on the “Wallace and Gromit” feature film “Curse of The Were-Rabbit” and then as the props maker for The Bristol Old Vic Theatre.

Since graduating in 2011 she has designed the sets and costumes for several theatre productions including shows for The SanaRt Theatre Company, community based theatre and film for Theatre Orchard, costume design for Insane Root's site specific productions, and amongst others set and costume design for The Rover staged​ at The Bristol Old Vic Studio.​

In 2015 she was the assistant designer on a British independant feature film "Access All Areas" and has worked on several short films. Sarah also teaches model making, for specific projects, at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has designed and assisted on a number of their shows.




We are indebted to many people and companies who have helped both create and bring this production back in 2016. Without their support in time, money and enthusiasm this show would not have been possible. So, unending thanks to:

Alan Drake (audience seating construction and transport)

Bristol City Council

Bristol Shakespeare Festival

Travelling Light Theatre Company

Bristol Old Vic

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Kathryn Raftery

Elliot Ltd

Kustom Carpets, Bedminster

Carys Underdown, St. Mary Redcliffe Church

Elliot Chapman

Lorna Jinks

James D Kent

Kaz Light



In the creation of this show we invited a team of fantastic local actors to assist in a Research and Development day. The contribution these actors made to the script and vision of the show was invaluable. Therefore huge thanks are due to:


Ali Campbell, Kirsty Cox, Ben Crispin, Charlotte Ellis, Marc Geoffrey, Andrew Kingston, Danann McAleer, Eoin Slattery & Tom Turner

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