Macbeth - Villain or Victim?
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Shakespeare tragedy turned comedy? With a little help from McBinny, McGinnie and McNinnie (3 witches) Sue Russell 'turns things around' - following the original plot, but with countless laughs along the way!
Cast size is 27 but can easily be reduced by doubling up.
Emboldened script is the original Shakespeare.
The chronology of the play stays true to the original – but a number of scenes are skipped, including the final battle scenes, for reasons of practicality.
The following are just an indication of where the main scenes of action take place.
· Macbeth’s Castle (Glamis Castle)
· Banquet (set of stools, and ‘diners’ equipped with goblets)
· Witch’s Cavern
(Enter Lady Macbeth, reading a letter, letting out intermittent exclamations of joy and shock)
Lady Macbeth: (Reading from letter) “they vanisht” … (Pauses) Witches, eh? My husband always did keep questionable company! (Reads) “missives from the king” … “Thane of Cawdor” .. “Hail, king that shalt be!” … (Pauses to reflect on what she’s just read) Well, well, well! It seems my husband has more going for him than I thought! Thane of Cawdor now, and soon to be king, no less! How’s that for quick promotion! Just as well he has an ‘iron maiden’ at his side! One who, unlike him, is not burdened with ‘human kindness’. (Aside) I shall make it my business to move matters along, as I see fit!
Messenger: Excuse me, Ma’am. I am sent to inform you - The king comes here tonight.
Lady Macbeth: At such short notice? And my lord?
Messenger: He comes too!
Lady Macbeth: (Dismissing messenger with a flick of her hand) Fair enough! And fare you well!
(Exit messenger, bowing)
Lady Macbeth: The raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan under my battlements. (Adopts warrior ‘posture’, bracing muscles and performing pretend sword fight) Farewell, Lady Macbeth! Hello warrior woman!
(Macbeth enters, interrupting Lady Macbeth ‘in action’. Lady Macbeth ‘recollects’ herself, returning to former graceful ‘lady’)
Macbeth: (Bowing) My lady?
Lady Macbeth: (Spluttering) Who? What? Ah, tis you, my love! Fancy creeping up on me like that! You gave me quite a turn!
Macbeth: It looked like you were having ‘a bit of a turn’ yourself! Are you sure you’re all right? You look a little … agitated!
Lady Macbeth: Who? Me? Now, why would that be?
Macbeth: Hmm. Could it have anything, perhaps, to do with the news I sent you – in that letter?
Lady Macbeth: What? Of my now being wife to the thane of Cawdor – and soon to be queen of this great realm? Well, of course not! Why should anything like that give me the jitters?
Macbeth: Oh, just wondering. I mean, it’s not every day you get to look into the future – and see yourself wearing a crown!
(Lady Macbeth takes Macbeth’s arm and walks him round)
Lady Macbeth: Now, now, dear! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves! I have just one piece of advice for you.
Macbeth: Only one?
Lady Macbeth: Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under’t.
Macbeth: (Looking puzzled) Pardon?
Lady Macbeth: (Impatiently) Oh never mind! (Throwing her arms up in exasperation) What do they say about “If you want something done – ask a woman?” (Turning to Macbeth) Go get yourself ready for the banquet. Leave all the rest to me.
(Exit Lady Macbeth)
Macbeth: (To narrator) Did you hear that? About looking like a flower but behaving like a serpent? And that last comment “Leave all the rest to me”? Do you need any further proof?