13 minutes





Some 40 years on, actors revisit the toil and trouble of a Macbeth fiasco

In thespian lore, William Shakespeare’s Macbeth should be euphemised as ‘the Scottish play’, lest the cast and crew anger the coven of witches who’ve cursed the work and bring bad luck to the production. But, as the short film The Scottish Play recounts, even adherence to this time-honoured superstition couldn’t prevent a 1986 performance of Macbeth in the small English village of Shute from descending into such an unstoppable fiasco that it made international news headlines.

For his exceptionally entertaining production, the UK director James Soldan travelled to Shute some 40 years after the event to separate the myths from the facts and find out how it all went so terribly wrong. Reuniting several cast members, Soldan prompts the troupe to recall how an earnest director, a blocked-in car, a missing sword and much more combined to make their retelling of one of the Bard’s most celebrated works truly unforgettable – if not quite in the way they’d hoped. Evoking the old adage that tragedy plus time equals comedy, Soldan draws the viewer into the raw immediacy and humanity of it all while keeping a wonderful story alive. And, after all, isn’t that what live theatre is all about?

Director: James Soldan

Producer: Simeon Costello

Website: Spinning Path