Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Curse of Mackers

Anyone who has worked in the theatre knows of the curse. It is bad luck to say the name of the Scottish Play in a theatre. There are various ways of absolving yourself of any slip of the lip: spit and swear or leave the theatre building and twirling 'round three times.

So where does this curse come from? There is a whole history of bad events supposedly surrounding this play. The play itself is bloody, murderous, and violent requiring many fights and loads of special effects. This increases the chances of things going wrong. But in a more fantastical sense, there are legends of Shakespeare quoting actual black-magic incantations in the play or deals made with witches to unlock some darker purposes.

In reality, this is simply one of those good natured traditions of the theatre that create great stories. And while you will come across an actor here or there who devoutly believes in the curse, most take it with a grain of salt. There is some fun in spitting and swearing or paying great attention not to mention the name of the Scottish King.

Please share with us any stories you have of haunting or misfortune concerning the utterance of Mackers or around any performances of the Scottish Play.

Happy Birthday: Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

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