Sunday 20th October Auditions are for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth ONLY!
Download a copy now – Macbeth Script for QMT Feb 2020
THE VISION FOR THIS PLAY:
There is no single right way of thinking about or performing Macbeth. The play, of course, works on many different levels and a multitude of interpretations are possible.
My vision is to set the play in modern times in and around the antechambers and corridors of the Scottish Parliament which I think will be fun to do as well as a little provocative. I see the play on two levels: –
- A fast moving thriller examining the dangers of political ambition updated to a modern setting, and
- The psychological pressure that comes of being told the future and the demise that follows.
We will be using the original text in a modern setting. Inevitably there will be some changes in creating a credible environment. These include the Witches which will now become “Pollsters”, predicting political outcomes. Then there is the challenge of bringing the action indoors when the story includes sword play, battles and soldiers on horseback. Events outside the parliamentary setting will be conveyed by use of an imaginatively lit set and video.
There will be gender changes to some of the traditional male roles (see below). The production will also involve choreographed movement to suggest the bustle of a busy parliament and during scene changes.
The script which has been edited down in order to move the play along more quickly and reducing its overall length by about 20 mins to around 2 hours. The script is available as a small pdf file which can be downloaded or sent to you by email. There will also be a few printed copies to borrow from the box office, but you can download a copy here.
FOR THOSE NOT FAMILIAR WITH SHAKESPEARE:
Some of you may be put off acting in a Shakespeare play. Please do not be discouraged from auditioning as there will be some coaching by a professional specialist as part of the rehearsal schedule. Some of you may be interested in “Macbeth Translated” by SJ Hills – I will have a couple of copies available to borrow and return.
Acting ages of all the roles are dependent on a number of factors and therefore are shown as being flexible.
- MACBETH: (Male role- acting age 30 to 45) the Thane of Glamis and a leader in Duncan’s political party, later the Thane of Cawdor. When three “pollsters” predict that he will be one day be the King of Scotland he allows his ambition and that of his wife to overcome his loyalty to King Duncan. Macbeth’s bloody reign culminates in a showdown with Malcolm (son of the King) and the English.
- LADY MACBETH: (Female role – acting age 25 to 50) The scheming wife of Macbeth, whose ambitions help drive her husband toward murdering Scotland’s King. Subsequently her husband’s cruelty and her own guilt drive her to madness.
- THREE WITCHES: (Male and female roles) The three agents of fate who are portrayed as pollsters in this production who reveal the future to Macbeth and Banquo.
- BANQUO: (To be undertaken as a female role – acting age 30 to 45). A fellow soldier and companion of Macbeth, who also receives a prophecy from the “Pollsters” that her children will one day succeed to the throne of Scotland.
- DUNCAN: (Male role – acting age 45 to 65) King of Scotland. His victories against rebellious kinsmen and the Norwegians bring him honour and the love of Scots. His decision to pass the Kingdom to his son Malcolm provokes Duncan’s untimely stabbing at the hands of Macbeth, Duncan’s kinsman.
- MALCOLM: ( male role – acting age 25 to 30) Duncan’s son who is heir to the throne. Fearful of implications in his father’s murder; flees Scotland to England. With the aid of the English King, Malcolm harnesses forces to unseat Macbeth.
- MACDUFF: (Male role – acting age 25 to 45) A thane of Scotland who discovers the murdered King Duncan and suspecting Macbeth eventually turns against him. Macduff later flees to England to join Malcolm. Macduff faces Macbeth in a showdown and avenges the loss of the Macduff household. The following are smaller roles and some actors will undertake more than one role:
- DONALBALN: (to be undertaken as a female role – acting age 25 to 30) Traditionally son of Duncan but in this production changed to a daughter who escapes to Ireland.
- FLEANCE: (Male role – acting age mid to late teens) Banquo’s son, who by escaping Macbeth’s plot on his life, is fated to father a line of kings.
- LENNOX, ROSS, MENTEITH, ANGUS, CAITHNESS: these Scots nobles who turn against the tyrannical Macbeth and will be played as a mixture of male and female roles.
- THE DOCTOR and LADY-IN-WAITING (who attend Lady Macbeth as she descends to madness)