Halloween, Witches, Macbeth, Scottish Play & Shakespeare
If you’ve ever been in a theatre or dressing room and uttered the title Macbeth or quoted the play, then you know what it’s like to suddenly have all eyes coldly focused on you. The play Macbeth is said to be cursed and the only time you’re supposed to quote it or say the title when in a theatre is when you are doing a production of it. Otherwise it is usually referred to as The Scottish Play.
Are Theatre People Wacky?
No, but many are superstitious. Remember, it’s bad luck to wish someone “good luck“ in the theatre. You either say, “break a leg” or “merde.” But why the paranoia about Macbeth? You see Shakespeare is supposed to have done some pretty good research on witches. In fact, one source that he used when writing those characters was a book on witches written by King James I. (James was the patron of the theatre company that was partly owned by Shakespeare, The King’s Men.) It’s said that Shakespeare used authentic witches incantations when writing the lines for the three spellbinders. Because of this, the witches cursed the play.
There’s No People Like…
Those in the theatre whether they believe in the curse or not respect those who do. Thus if you are in a dressing room, green room or theatre and someone says something like, “When I was in Macbeth…” or “The line ‘tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow,” they will realize what they have done and perform the ritual to rid themselves and those around them of any potential catastrophes. When someone mistakenly quotes the play another company member accompanies him or her to a door (of then backstage entrance) where they exit. The person accompanying them closes the door. The person who quoted the play must now turn around three times counter-clockwise and knock on the door. The person inside opens the door and says, “Enter.” As the offending person crosses over the threshold they curse (any curse will do). That’s it—the curse is no longer a problem. But every time some says the title of the play, quotes it or talks about a scene and mentions the lead character’s name, they must perform the ritual.
The Perfect Halloween Play
Is there are more perfect Halloween play than the Scottish play? I don’t think so. Along with being cursed so is every production. And it seems as if every time the play is done something goes wrong. Plus, the witches are simply about as scary as anything in the theatre gets, the play also has ghosts galore and the sleepwalking scene is right out of Stephen King. Good thing that Scot wasn’t named MacDonald. No one in the theatre would ever eat fast food! (At least not at “The Scottish restaurant.”)
By the way, there’s no need to be frightened about the Broadway group experience. It is NOT cursed at all. All Tickets can remedy all of your group’s fears and superstitions. See our fun Halloween video that offers insights into our new website.