If there is one thing theatre people are it is superstitious. Anyone who works in a theatre will constantly tell you what you can or cannot do, because it’s “bad luck” or “good luck.” Have you ever wondered why these little practices came into being? Why do actors and theatre take these things so seriously?
Each Monday we’re going to take a closer look at one of these little pieces of theatre lore.
Today we’re going to talk about one of the most common theatre superstitions: Macbeth. The word, the play, you name it, theatre people find it creepy and even cursed! Many people believe that because the show is cursed you must refer to it as “The Scottish Play” instead of by it’s name when in a theatre, some people take it as far as to never say the name “Macbeth” unless it’s in a quote.
There are a few reasons that people believe:
2.) The second belief is that, due to the fact that Macbeth has more swordplay in it than any other Shakespeare Play (possibly any other play?) it is a dangerous play to perform, and therefore cursed.
3.) The third reason people don’t say the name is that it is believed real witches and witchcraft were used in the original production. Spooky!
I guess the biggest question then is how do you fix the problem in case you accidentally do say that word in a theatre? It is believed to counteract the saying of “Macbeth,” you must leave the theatre, spin around three times, spit, curse and then knock to be allowed to return. Whew, glad we got that taken care of.