The Macbeth curse negated?

Here’s an update on a story we aired on MPR a couple of weeks ago about the question of whether or not Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” is cursed.

The piece ended with a little bit of a mystery about the location of some tape of Guthrie Theatre veteran Charles Keating telling the story of an exceptionally unlucky production of the Scottish play which he directed in St Paul.

At the time we were unable to find the tape, which allowed the opportunity to hint at possible supernatural creepiness.

In reality of course it had just been mislaid in an on-line redesign. Thanks to some great sleuthing my colleagues in our new media department, (thanks Mason and Matt!) the tape has now re-emerged. So is the curse broken? Well, it’s not enough to bring down a legend of course, but it feels like a small victory here.

And we can also listen to the tape. The set up is that Keating was in the MPR studios talking to about a production of Twelfth Night he was doing at the Guthrie. As he talked, something reminded him of the other traumatic Shakespeare experience he had in the Twin Cities. Here is what he said:

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The original story drew a lot of comments, but this is another opportunity to ask you the reading public to reveal your own experiences with the Macbeth story. Feel free to list them below.

  • Jennifer R.

    Thanks for sharing the follow-up. Glad to hear the tape was found!

  • Mikki Maddox

    Well, I’ve had several adventures with the “curse.”

    Once at an outdoor professional theater production, one of the actors was talking to friends about the curse and how he didn’t believe there was anything to it just as they were warming up for fight call. When the fight call started, McB was sliced, blood was flowing and he had to get a couple stiches backstage before he could go on. There are times in several productions I’ve been in where the name was mentioned and then strange things happend like the lighting board changing light cues on its own, an accident that caused the actor to (you guessed it) break her leg as she fell off the stage, and other actors to be so injured they needed to be replaced. Although they were all coincidences I am sure, it was somewhat comforting to feel that I could blame it on The Scottish Play curse!