MACBETH was the first of the plays to open at "Europe's first ever pop-up Shakespearean theatre" on June 25, later joined by Romeo And Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Richard III.

The plays are warmed up now to match the weather, and the press were in on Wednesday, Quentin Letts, the Daily Mail theatre critic and parliamentary sketch writer, in the next door seat. It should be the perfect play for him, with all its politics and talk of equivocation, and director Damian Cruden has been quick to make links to our age of post-truth in his programme notes.

Cruden, the Theatre Royal's Scottish artistic director here "on loan" to Shakespeare's Rose Theatre, last directed the Scottish Play in March 2005, when the Far Eastern cinema of Kurosawa and Zhang Yimou met the Kill Bill movies of Tarantino in his ancient yet modern reinvention with giant puppets on a black-sanded Theatre Royal stage.

Thirteen years later, a Sara Perks design redolent of Game Of Thrones and the computer game Assassin's Creed, assorted wooden furniture and a multitude of metallic blades meet the three-tiered wood and scaffolding structure of the Elizabethan-style Rose Theatre. No microphones, minimum props: Cruden's production is all down to voice, symbolic costume and Christopher Madin's thunderous drum and jazz tenor sax score.

This Macbeth is raw, violent, and bloody, as Cruden said it would be, with Jonathan Holby's fight direction a vital component.. Heads are cut off, carried triumphantly through the Groundling throng, and placed on spikes, in a city where such gory sights were once common on our gated entries.

James Cundall, whose North Yorkshire company Lunchbox Theatrical Productions is mounting Shakespeare's Rose Theatre, once lost out at school to Stephen Fry for the role of a Witch, and it is the Witches that are the talking point of Cruden's production as much as the post-truth, alternative truths and lies that echo down the years. Played by Robin Simpson, Maria Gray and Clare Corbett, they are not only the weird sisters, hurling fire cracker,s but Macbeth's hitmen too, just as Amanda Ryan's attendant to Lady Macbeth is also Hecate. This makes Macbeth's tyrant world all the more hellish, and in the most striking scene of all, at the cauldron, eight children with crowns mock Macbeth about being childless. Likewise, Fine Time Fontayne's Porter is a harbinger of doom, arriving half-naked from below, vomiting and showing us the way to hell.

Richard Standing's ever-bloodied Macbeth has the measure of the language and the man, undone indeed by over-vaulting ambition, and I love the way he says "signifying nothing" sotto voce. Leandra Ashton's Lady Macbeth, dressed at first as if for a mid-Sixties Eurovision Song Contest, gives a more calculated performance, where everything can be read on the surface. There is a terrific turn from Paul Hawkyard as Macduff, and Cruden's ending suggests another tyrant is just around the corner. How true, there always is.

Macbeth, Shakespeare's Rose Theatre, Tower Street, York, on various dates until August 31. Box office: 01904 623568 or at