Macbeth 2004

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Directed by Mark von Eschen, Set and Lighting Design by Stephen Wade, Costume Design by Beverley Kobelsky

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Macbeth and Banquo, the King’s generals, have successfully stopped a rebellion aided by the Thane of Cawdor.  King Duncan sends Rosse and Angus to give praise to his generals and reward Macbeth by naming him the Thane of Cawdor.  Before this happens, Macbeth and Banquo meet three witches who prophesize that Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland, and that Banquo shall be a father to many kings.  The two generals laugh at the prophecies until the rewards from King Duncan greet them.  Macbeth sends a letter to his wife, telling of the uncanny story.  Lady Macbeth vows to ensure her husband will become king but fears that he “is too full of the milk of human kindness”.  Together they plan Duncan’s murder, but when Macbeth hesitates, she drives him on.  She drugs the king’s guards, who fall into a deep sleep, allowing Macbeth easy access to the sleeping King. Lady Macbeth then smears the guards with blood to incriminate them. In the morning, the murder is discovered and the King’s sons flee, fearing their lives are also at risk.  In their absence Macbeth is crowned King of Scotland.  But paranoia begins to consume Macbeth; he fears his action will only benefit Banquo’s progeny and conspires to kill him and his son Fleance.  At Macbeth’s coronation feast, Banquo’s ghost appears. Members of the court, who are already becoming suspicious of the new King’s rise to power, witness his horror at the ghost, although they themselves are unaware of its presence.  The next morning Macbeth will again visit the witches to learn what the future will bring.



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