WHY I'LL BE SAYING MACBETH IN MY THEATRE
by Jez Bond
There is an age old superstition in the theatre concerning the utterance of the name 'Macbeth'. Those who adhere to the superstition uphold that the only time one is allowed to say 'Macbeth' in a theatre (and by this one means the actual auditorium and stage - the foyer, as far as I'm aware is permitted) is when, as an actor, you are speaking the character's name in the play itself. The play is therefore not referred to by its title but as "the Scottish play".
It's an odd concept, I think, that saying a particular word in a particular place would conjure up some sort of evil, that would put a curse on a show. We've heard the stories about the filming of The Omen and how so many cast and crew died in supposedly mysterious circumstances in the months following shooting. Still, the thought of actors who are the creators of live magic, the conjurors of illusion, being terrified by a spoken word strikes me as ridiculous. And worse still I know, in writing this, that many actors will be mortally offended at my suggestion.
However I believe that we create our own luck, shape our own destiny and that every person in Park Theatre should stand on stage and pronounce Macbeth at the top of their voice. Out with the stuffy superstitions, this is Park Theatre - no baggage, no bullshit, just a new outlook. I for one am so mischevious that I know I'll have to say just to make a point - the question is whether I'll do it with anyone else around. As I say, people do genuinely get offended!