Second Alan Cumming for Macbeth

Alan Cumming is coming back to Scotland to play Macbeth, no less. The National Theatre of Scotland has announced that Cumming, best known for roles in X-Men 2, Golden Eye and Spy Kids, will return to his homeland in 2012 to take on "the Scottish play".

However this will be no conventional production. Instead, Cumming will play Macbeth in a solo performance, surrounded by a wide range of visual  and technical effects.

Cumming has played with the NTS before, taking the leading role of Dionysus in the NTS' spectacular, if flawed, production  of the ancient Greek tragedy The Bacchae in 2007.

He was also pencilled to appear in the NTS production of Peter Pan  as Captain Hook but had to pull out due to filming commitments, leaving the role to Cal MacAninch.

The new Macbeth production wil be co-directed by John Tiffany, the man behind Black Watch,  and Andy Goldberg, an American director behind a number of musical successes including a rap version of Shakespeare's A Comedy Of Erros, called The  Bombity of Errors, which was a worldwide hit.

Launching the new show, Cumning said: "I have been obsessed with Macbeth for as long as I can remember. It was the first Shakespeare I ever read and  the first I was ever in and it continues to haunt and inspire me."

Cumming appeared as a child actor as pone of Malcolm's children in a famous production of the play at Glasgow's Tron theatre in the 1980s, starring Iain Glen (currently appearing in Downton Abbey as Sir Richard Carlisle. the love interest of Lady Mary) and directed by Michael Boyd who went on to become director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

He has been notably loyal to his roots in Scotland where his most famous exploits are probably still related to the airline sitcom The High Life, with Siobhan Redmond and Forbes Masson, which he and Masson co-wrote and played a couple of camp flght attendants on Air Scotia, a fictional (thank goodness) Scottish airline.

And just in case you have forgotten, here's how Alan and Forbes began, as Victor and Barry. Unmissable.

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