The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2765  Thursday, 6 December 2001

From:           Dan Smith <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 5 Dec 2001 18:50:45 -0000
Subject: 12.2749 Re: Scotland, PA Study Guides
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2749 Re: Scotland, PA Study Guides

It is some years since I saw Macbeth on the estate.  I regretted not
taping it and have been hoping it would be shown again.  Setting the
play in a decaying housing estate where the key characters were drug
dealers provided a powerful air of menace and dissolution, something I
found lacking in disappointing theatre productions.  However my
recollection of the three witches (unreliable thing memory) is that they
were emaciated young female drug addicts in a derelict shooting
gallery.  This made sense to me, the idea that the core business of the
'court' was creating the degraded, threatening landscape around them and
leaving casualties, who would bear them ill will.  The paranoia and
hallucinations that overtake the Macbeths also make perfect sense if
they have been consuming what they deal. On TV recently a friend of
Freddy Mercury said that an active drug habit had made him blase about,
"seeing my granny climbing up my leg with a knife in her teeth"; which
makes ghosts and indelible spots of blood seem quite tame really.  I
thought that this was one transposition of setting that added to the
play rather than detracted from it.

Dan Smith

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