This Play is Cursed
Some believe that the play Macbeth is cursed – insert scary music – and that it’s bad luck to say the title of the play or quote a line of dialogue from it inside a theatre (unless you are rehearsing or performing it of course). Doing so, they say brings tragedy upon the person who utters those fateful words as well as everyone around them. So, instead of calling the play by its title, Macbeth is instead often referred to by theatre folk as “The Scottish Play” after the country in which the story takes place.
But how did this legend come to be and what can you do to guard yourself against the curse when you come to see Kentucky Shakespeare perform Macbeth at the PAC this month?
One theory is that the spells chanted by the three witches early in the play are REAL, thus cursing any production. However, since Shakespeare gave no credit to these alleged co-authors, this theory is pretty difficult to prove.
Another theory points to the fact that historically Macbeth has been plagued with accidents. However, considering how many fights, deaths and special effects are essential to the plot and how often Macbeth has been performed since 1606 its no wonder there’ve been more accidents attributed to it than any other play.
Regardless of its origin, here is the traditional cleansing ritual should you find yourself at the PAC with your foot in your mouth:
- The offender must immediately step out of the building, then
- Turn around three times, and
- Spit over your left shoulder, and then finally
- Swear or recite a line from some other (un-cursed) Shakespeare play.
Some superstitious purists even insist that the wrongdoer can only re-enter the building if they are invited to do so. This extra step would certainly make it easier to punish repeat offenders by leaving them outside.
You now should be well prepared to safely come see Kentucky Shakespeare perform “The Scottish Play” at the PAC on March 15. And should you decide to tempt fate, pray for no rain.
This month the PAC Kid Spotlight shines on CHHS student Mallory Garcia. Catch her in the CHHS / HCP co-production of The Crucible this month at the PAC! Learn more about Mallory and our other PAC Kids.