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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: September ::
Macbeth Curse
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0639  Wednesday, 26 September 2007

[1]	From: 		Arthur Lindley <
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	Date: 		Monday, 24 Sep 2007 14:20:58 +0000
	Subj: 		The Curse of Presley

[2]	From: 		Susan St. John <
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	Date: 		Monday, 24 Sep 2007 12:18:53 -0700
	Subj: 		Re: SHK 18.0633 Macbeth Curse

[3]	From: 		Colin Cox <
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	Date: 		Monday, 24 Sep 2007 14:31:35 -0700
	Subj: 		Re: SHK 18.0633 Macbeth Curse

[4]	From: 		David Crystal <
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	Date: 		Tuesday, 25 Sep 2007 14:11:27 +0000 GMT
	Subj: 		Re: SHK 18.0633 Macbeth Curse

[5] 	From: 		Mike Shapiro <
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	Date: 		Tuesday, 25 Sep 2007 16:31:15 -0400
	Subj: 		RE: SHK 18.0633 Macbeth Curse


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Arthur Lindley <
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Date: 		Monday, 24 Sep 2007 14:20:58 +0000
Subject: 	The Curse of Presley

Dear Hardy,

That's 'a shrine to Elvis', right?  Though some would disagree, a shire 
seems a bit excessive.

Arthur

[Editor's Note: Amazing, I do relatively well catching typos in the 
submissions of others but cannot see them in my own posts. However, I so 
strive to entertain: dulce et utile.]

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Susan St. John <
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Date: 		Monday, 24 Sep 2007 12:18:53 -0700
Subject: 18.0633 Macbeth Curse
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0633 Macbeth Curse

Hardy asks: "There is not a prohibition regarding all utterances of  the 
play's name, is there?"

Personally I never say it.  "All the world's a stage..." after all!

My favorite part of the superstition is how people refer to the lead 
characters.  We usually say Lady M, and the male lead is often MacDaddy 
or Big Mac.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Colin Cox <
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Date: 		Monday, 24 Sep 2007 14:31:35 -0700
Subject: 18.0633 Macbeth Curse
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0633 Macbeth Curse

Hardy writes:

 >the curse involves a ritual in which an offender must circle (if
 >I remember correctly) a shire to Elvis that is set up backstage
 >near the green room."

The version of the ritual that I recall is one must leave the theatre 
and, once outside, turn around three times, spit, curse (preferred 
expletive) and then knock on the stage door and ask to be readmitted.

I do have a healthy respect for the curse, myself, as I once fell 12 
feet (from the top of the castle), in a blackout, whilst playing the 
said 'Scotsman'. I, literally, still feel it today!

Colin Cox

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Crystal <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 25 Sep 2007 14:11:27 +0000 GMT
Subject: 18.0633 Macbeth Curse
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0633 Macbeth Curse

It was awful. Two members of the cast hurt themselves badly early in the 
run and had to be replaced for a while. Cuts and bruises were 
everywhere. Illness hit. The lead actor banged his head coming on stage 
one day.

People in the audience were fainting at the sight of the blood.

Oh, sorry, did I forget to say? I'm talking about Titus Andronicus at 
the Globe last year.

David Crystal

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Mike Shapiro <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 25 Sep 2007 16:31:15 -0400
Subject: 18.0633 Macbeth Curse
Comment: 	RE: SHK 18.0633 Macbeth Curse

In the late 1960's I once attended a production of The McPlay in 
Rantoul, IL.  There was a middle-aged mom and dad sitting a few rows in 
front of me.  They had brought their approximately 5 year old child to 
the play.  The child was so loud and unruly that I could not help 
watching them and not the play because the kid just kept getting worse 
and, it seemed to me, that this mom was lying low waiting to ambush 
anyone who asked to please shut the kid up.  A guy one row down from 
them finally did and the mom went off big time on him.  The kid started 
screaming and ran for the stage.  Mom began yelling that the child was 
autistic and gave chase.  She tackled him on stage and had him 
spread-eagle in an attempt to reduce stimuli and calm him down.  But she 
was obese and Lady McPlay thought the boy was being suffocated.  Mr. 
McPlay tried to free the boy but it turned into a tug of war and the 
boy's pants began to slide off as he was being pulled about the stage. 
The McPlay's director finally took to the stage and was able to separate 
everyone.  When he bent down and asked the child if he was ok, the boy 
took a step back and then whipped the director with a karate chop to the 
neck.  The director was taken to the hospital and sadly expired later 
that night.  However, manslaughter charges were filed against the boy. 
Lady McPlay couldn't let the dead have their peace and began 
surveillance on the family.  She subsequently filed CPS charges against 
the mom because she had bordered up the boy's bedroom windows in an 
attempt to decrease stimuli.

Mike Shapiro

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