Nugget of Knowledge: Curse of Macbeth

Many of Macbeth productions had bad luck

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – In the play, Macbeth returns from the battlefield and meets three witches who predict that he’ll be the next king.

Macbeth’s wife encourages him to murder the reigning king. He does, and then the bodies start piling up.

From the play’s first performance in 1606, it seemed to be cursed.

On opening night, the actor meant to play Lady Macbeth died. One actor portraying Macbeth used a real dagger to commit murder onstage.

In 1721, a theater showing Macbeth burned down.

In 1942, a production suffered three deaths, including a suicide.

In 1947, an actor was stabbed in the sword fight that ends the play and died.

In 1948, the actress playing Lady Macbeth fell 15 feet off the stage.

In 1953, Charlton Heston was badly burned, in the groin, during a performance.

In 1955, an actor was nearly blinded in a fight scene, and the actor playing Macbeth dropped dead of heart failure during Act III.

In 1988, the Broadway production went through three directors, six cast changes, six stage managers, two set designers, two lighting designers, 26 bouts of flu, torn ligaments and groin injuries.

In the theater, you never say the word Macbeth. You refer to “the Scottish Play” or anything else.

If you do happen to say Macbeth while in a theater, you must act quickly. Leave the room or the theater completely, turn around three times to the right, spit on the ground or over each shoulder, then knock on the door of the room and ask for permission to re-enter it.

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