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Podcast Episode 80: ‘Macbeth’ And The Curse Of The Scottish Play

Shakespearemania continues with a look at ‘Macbeth” on stage and screen, and its cursed history

Jon Finch and Francesca Annis star as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in the 1971 fi...

Credit: Columbia

Above: Jon Finch and Francesca Annis star as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in the 1971 film by Roman Polanski.

Episode 80: 'Macbeth' and the Curse of the Scottish Play

An exploration of Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' and the curse of The Scottish Play. Cinema Junkie looks to the best film Macbeths as well as to the new Old Globe production.

Subscribe to the Cinema Junkie podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcatcher.


With the first folio in San Diego this month, Cinema Junkie returns to the Bard for an episode all about "Macbeth." There are a diverse range of films based on the play and a new stage production at the Old Globe Theater.

The play also has a cursed history that forbids its name even be spoken inside a theater.

With the Globe mounting a new production of "Macbeth" that promises to be bold as well as potentially bloody and resolute, I wanted to take the opportunity to dedicate a podcast to my favorite Shakespeare play of all time.

The play is one of the 18 that would likely not exist if it had not been placed in the first folio, and what a tragedy that would have been. It is Shakespeare's swiftest and possibly bloodiest (although "Titus Andronicus" gives it a run for its money) play and it moves with ferocious energy as it follows Macbeth's fall.

It also has been rumored to contain real witches' spells, which may account for the curse that weighs heavy on the play. Many in the theater world are so superstitious that they refuse to mention the play's name

The Globe production afforded me an opportunity to speak with some Shakespeare scholars about both the infamous curse connected with the play as well as the approach the current production would be taking. And in case you can't catch this production, we also talk about the best cinematic adaptations of the play from Orson Welles' woefully underfunded "Macbeth" in 1948 to Roman Polanski's film made shortly after the murder of his wife Sharon Tate by the Manson family.


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