Tag Archives: Witches

5 Macbeth Props That Will Keep You Up at Night

Witches. Cauldrons. Prophesies. Runes. Our production of Macbeth is the stuff nightmares are made of – in the very best and haunting way. When it comes to props, director Darko Tresjnak wanted objects capable of truly terrifying and also intriguing an audience.

Here’s our list of 5 Macbeth props that will keep you up at night.

Bloody Head in a Burlap Sack

Head of Caudor

The nightmare-inducing props start at the very beginning of Macbeth, when messengers from King Duncan present Macbeth and Banquo with the head of the executed Thane of Cawdor in a bloody burlap sack. (Macbeth gets the dead man’s title, following the prophecy of the witches.)

Duncan’s Body

Duncan's Body

(spoiler alert!), Macbeth and Lady Macbeth murder King Duncan in the first act so that Macbeth can seize the throne. During the second scene, Duncan’s body is brought out on a golden bier, very slowly, to emphasize the gore. While a white sheet is placed over the corpse, it is clear that Duncan’s throat has been slashed, and the Special FX blood ensures that his body appears freshly killed.

Skulls

Skulls

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth present these skulls to the audience at the end of the opera – creepily representing their doomed fate. Flashes of light illuminate these two props and they are the last thing seen as the curtain falls – a haunting image not easily forgotten.

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The Macbeth Witches Are Not Your Ordinary Witches

The witches; Photo: Karen Almond

The witches; Photo: Karen Almond

Macbeth is a comedy if you’re a witch and a tragedy if you’re anyone else.”

The dancing witches in Macbeth are not your pointy hat, black-wearing, broom-flying witches. As the agents that drive the story, they are onstage virtually the entire time, lurking during every sinister choice that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth make in the opera. They move props. They haunt all of the characters and bring them to the darkest moments of their lives. We spoke with the nine women who play the witches about how they bring their hellish characters to life.

It all started at the audition.

While most dance auditions involve an incredible amount of specific movement and counting, the auditions for Macbeth were all about becoming witches.

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