In the wider canon of Shakespeare, there are a few constants which have stood the test of time, plays which have become enshrined in minds.

Of these, the Scottish play is among the most renowned, full of twist and turns, weird sisters and fantastical delusions, a cautionary tale about pursuing the trappings of power for their own sake.

This new production of Macbeth from the National Theatre takes these tropes and runs with them. Rufus Norris’s set is straight from the pages of an apocalyptic novel. Towering poles are covered with the shredded remains of plastic sheets, a large central board rises as almost half a bridge, splitting the stage in two.

The costumes are all combat boots and military fatigues and machetes with only the royals dressed in semi-formal (and drug lord-ish) attire as blood-red as their ambitions.

The visual design, along with the sound – blaring horns and ominous drumming – is truly thrilling, once you've gotten over the initial feeling of disconnect, that is. In a play tied so strongly to a certain place, and the idea of a rigid hierarchy, having protagonists refer to one another as “Thane of Glamis” or “Lady” while sporting shredded anoraks, spangly halter-neck gowns and stripy pyjama bottoms takes some adjusting.

But the cast's chilling performances and sheer charisma go some way to suspend disbelief and reel the audience back in.

Kirsty Besterman is sensational – and eerily relatable – as Lady Macbeth while Michael Nardone brings a gruff fatalism to the cursed king. Reuben Johnson too makes for a memorable Banquo, snuffed out in his prime (you'd never guess he was the understudy).

Few revivals can dream to achieve this level of technical sophistication, imagination and (refreshing) originality.

Macbeth runs at the Theatre Royal Bath until Saturday, December 8. - Marion Sauvebois