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alfprof212
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Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Aside: "The Scottish Play"

Just as an interesting note of lore, has anyone heard the superstitions that go along with doing a production of "Macbeth?" I grew up in the theater and have heard many stories of mishaps and tragedies that have happened during a production of this play. The superstition is that while doing a production (the entire time), you cannot call the play by its name (you can say the character Macbeth's name, but you can't say "Macbeth" in reference to the play). Many people believe that saying it while in the theater will cause bad things to happen. They provide proof for this belief by noting many production disasters, such as cast members severely injured or killed, building disasters, freak storms, etc. (Now, I can't say if I truly believe in the superstition, but I have never said "Macbeth" in a theater.) Instead, actors and crew alike, are to call it "The Scottish Play." Many theater people are so wary about this, they won't even say the word in a theater at all!
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Choisya
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Re: Aside: "The Scottish Play"

This superstition supposedly arose during a production of Macbeth when Hal Berridge, an actor in Shakespeare's company, died upon the stage whilst playing Lady Macbeth in 1606 but here is another explanation which sounds plausible:-

http://www.angelfire.com/fl3/Defymcbeth/Super2.html

And some more unusual happenings:-

http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid%3A78882

Wikipedia gives some interesting superstitions:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatrical_superstitions




alfprof212 wrote:
Just as an interesting note of lore, has anyone heard the superstitions that go along with doing a production of "Macbeth?" I grew up in the theater and have heard many stories of mishaps and tragedies that have happened during a production of this play. The superstition is that while doing a production (the entire time), you cannot call the play by its name (you can say the character Macbeth's name, but you can't say "Macbeth" in reference to the play). Many people believe that saying it while in the theater will cause bad things to happen. They provide proof for this belief by noting many production disasters, such as cast members severely injured or killed, building disasters, freak storms, etc. (Now, I can't say if I truly believe in the superstition, but I have never said "Macbeth" in a theater.) Instead, actors and crew alike, are to call it "The Scottish Play." Many theater people are so wary about this, they won't even say the word in a theater at all!


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Everyman
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Re: Aside: "The Scottish Play"



alfprof212 wrote:
Just as an interesting note of lore, has anyone heard the superstitions that go along with doing a production of "Macbeth?"


Oh yes. Those are standard fare. Ngaio Marsh wrote a mystery which revolved around a production of the Scottish Play, which offers an amusing and interesting exegesis of the legends.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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LizzieAnn
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Re: Aside: "The Scottish Play"

Thanks for the links Choisya, they were really interesting. I came across a little bit about the curse in my readings. Does it only apply to a stage version? Have any mishaps happened during filmings?



Choisya wrote:
This superstition supposedly arose during a production of Macbeth when Hal Berridge, an actor in Shakespeare's company, died upon the stage whilst playing Lady Macbeth in 1606 but here is another explanation which sounds plausible:-

http://www.angelfire.com/fl3/Defymcbeth/Super2.html

And some more unusual happenings:-

http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid%3A78882

Wikipedia gives some interesting superstitions:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatrical_superstitions




alfprof212 wrote:
Just as an interesting note of lore, has anyone heard the superstitions that go along with doing a production of "Macbeth?" I grew up in the theater and have heard many stories of mishaps and tragedies that have happened during a production of this play. The superstition is that while doing a production (the entire time), you cannot call the play by its name (you can say the character Macbeth's name, but you can't say "Macbeth" in reference to the play). Many people believe that saying it while in the theater will cause bad things to happen. They provide proof for this belief by noting many production disasters, such as cast members severely injured or killed, building disasters, freak storms, etc. (Now, I can't say if I truly believe in the superstition, but I have never said "Macbeth" in a theater.) Instead, actors and crew alike, are to call it "The Scottish Play." Many theater people are so wary about this, they won't even say the word in a theater at all!





Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Choisya
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Re: Aside: "The Scottish Play"

I would imaine it applies to all performances of the play, wherever they are. Friery may be able to tell us as he is/has been an actor.




LizzieAnn wrote:
Thanks for the links Choisya, they were really interesting. I came across a little bit about the curse in my readings. Does it only apply to a stage version? Have any mishaps happened during filmings?



Choisya wrote:
This superstition supposedly arose during a production of Macbeth when Hal Berridge, an actor in Shakespeare's company, died upon the stage whilst playing Lady Macbeth in 1606 but here is another explanation which sounds plausible:-

http://www.angelfire.com/fl3/Defymcbeth/Super2.html

And some more unusual happenings:-

http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid%3A78882

Wikipedia gives some interesting superstitions:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatrical_superstitions




alfprof212 wrote:
Just as an interesting note of lore, has anyone heard the superstitions that go along with doing a production of "Macbeth?" I grew up in the theater and have heard many stories of mishaps and tragedies that have happened during a production of this play. The superstition is that while doing a production (the entire time), you cannot call the play by its name (you can say the character Macbeth's name, but you can't say "Macbeth" in reference to the play). Many people believe that saying it while in the theater will cause bad things to happen. They provide proof for this belief by noting many production disasters, such as cast members severely injured or killed, building disasters, freak storms, etc. (Now, I can't say if I truly believe in the superstition, but I have never said "Macbeth" in a theater.) Instead, actors and crew alike, are to call it "The Scottish Play." Many theater people are so wary about this, they won't even say the word in a theater at all!








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friery
Posts: 209
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Aside: "The Scottish Play"


Choisya wrote:
I would imaine it applies to all performances of the play, wherever they are. Friery may be able to tell us as he is/has been an actor.






I've not been an actor, I'm afraid. Must be thinking of another of our colleagues.
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Choisya
Posts: 10,782
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Re: Aside: "The Scottish Play"

[ Edited ]
Sorry - I meant alfpro, who posted earlier in this thread that he grew up in the theatre.



friery wrote:

Choisya wrote:
I would imagine it applies to all performances of the play, wherever they are. Friery may be able to tell us as he is/has been an actor.






I've not been an actor, I'm afraid. Must be thinking of another of our colleagues.


Message Edited by Choisya on 03-16-200703:16 AM

Melissa_W
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Re: Aside: "The Scottish Play"

My drama teacher in high school would not say "Macbeth" at all (not the title, the name of the character, nothing - she always said "The Scottish Play" or called the actor by name) if we were actually in the theatre; if we were in class she was OK. Apparently she'd been in a production in college where everything imaginable went wrong so she assumed the superstition was at work! :smileysurprised:



alfprof212 wrote:
Just as an interesting note of lore, has anyone heard the superstitions that go along with doing a production of "Macbeth?" I grew up in the theater and have heard many stories of mishaps and tragedies that have happened during a production of this play. The superstition is that while doing a production (the entire time), you cannot call the play by its name (you can say the character Macbeth's name, but you can't say "Macbeth" in reference to the play). Many people believe that saying it while in the theater will cause bad things to happen. They provide proof for this belief by noting many production disasters, such as cast members severely injured or killed, building disasters, freak storms, etc. (Now, I can't say if I truly believe in the superstition, but I have never said "Macbeth" in a theater.) Instead, actors and crew alike, are to call it "The Scottish Play." Many theater people are so wary about this, they won't even say the word in a theater at all!

Melissa W.
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