The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2037 Thursday, 23 August 2001
Date: Wednesday, 22 Aug 2001 19:50:47 -0400
Subject: Call for Witches
Just back from Europe and making my way through 242 SHAKSPER posts.
Nobody seems to have caught this one from Reuters (I'm afraid it will
take more than witches to lift the curse from the production I saw at
the Globe last week).
Witch-Hunt Mounted To Tackle Macbeth Jinx
EDINBURGH (Reuters) - A British medium launched an international hunt
for witches in a bid to contact the ancient Scottish king Macbeth and
lift the jinx which is said to overhang Shakespeare's gory tragedy. "I'm
looking for two witches, but preferably not from Britain -- they've got
to have an open mind," Kevin Carlyon, high priest of the 1,600 strong
coven of British white witches, told Reuters. "We are going to try and
get in touch with the spirit of the real Macbeth to find out whether he
is anything to do with the weird things which tend to happen with this
play," he said.
Famous for his murderous scheming and paranoid dementia, the 11th
century Highland monarch is believed by some scholars to have been no
worse than any other medieval king, and his image suffered unfairly at
the hands of the English playwright. Superstitious actors regularly
refer to the bloody drama by its subtitle -- "The Scottish Play" -- for
fear the curse of Macbeth will bring their production bad luck. Carlyon
and his two assistants will head to Cawdor, Macbeth's windswept seat in
the heart of the Scottish Highlands, and try to pacify the possibly
disgruntled spirit around the time of the full moon in early September.
They will then hitch up their witches' robes and speed southwards to the
bard's birthplace at Stratford-on-Avon in England and repeat the
process. "If we manage to contact Shakespeare, we'll also ask him where
he got the idea for the three witches from in his play," Carlyon said
Wednesday. "I'm very positive that we'll get some success, but I will
need some help -- raising spirits from the dead is not my specialist
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