Macbeth (2010)

Lady Macbeth (Kate Fleetwood) and Macbeth (Patrick Stewart) in PBS' Great Performances production of Macbeth.

Methought I heard a voice cry "Sleep no more!

Macbeth hath murdered sleep," . . .

Macbeth, Act II Scene 2, lines 32 and 33.

Yes. I watched Macbeth last night, and then couldn't sleep.

Creepy and disturbing, this production is set in a Russian-y Stalin-y flavoured Scotland. Macbeth and his Lady enact their plan and sternly administer their totalitarian regime, complete with torture, secret assassinations, witch hunts and mass graves. Their flunkeys carry machine guns and wear dashing black uniforms or army fatigues; their Dunsinane is a gloomy institutional building with peeling paint and decaying plaster. And constantly in the background are the witches, the most genuinely frightening Macbeth witches I can possibly imagine.

Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood are fantastic as the Macbeths - in fact, apart from some semi-pantomime moments (watch for the scene with Lady Macduff and the children, toward the end), it's all pretty terrific and scary.