I can’t be the only one who has Macbeth memories and I’m sure they’ve played a part in developing me and my writing. If any of them ring bells with you, do let me know. (It may, as they say, be a generational thing.)
1. Dressed as a witch on our school’s carnival float. Did a lot of double double toil and trouble-ing and looked the part, brilliantly. Proud. Would rather have been Carnival Queen, though.
2. Played Macbeth in classroom production (Girls’ school and not a lot of acting talent. Also I was taller than most.)
3. Wonderfully atmospheric production at Stafford Castle. Three very glamorous witches. And the poetry and the murders made me weepy.
4. Oxford College garden. Rain. Cast all adult males. Hard to suspend disbelief when Lady M, bare hairy chested, spoke of giving suck and the poor McDuff child was enacted by a grown man hobbling on his knees. And yet at moments the poetry still won through.
5. Last night at Oxford Castle. Lady Macbeth played by a slip of a girl in a red dress with bra straps showing. Only one witch – another slip of a girl. But fine acting and again the poetry got to me.
6. In my embryo novel I have used aspects of these different productions and quoted the great lines
‘Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow/Creeps in this petty pace from day to day…’
My emotional heroine turns to her lover to share the wonder of it, but he isn’t listening – he’s too busy scanning the audience for people he knows. Men!