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
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.)
(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.
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.
Nothing says double, double toil and trouble like a concoction of skin, fingers, and intestines (all latex) floating in a murky green liquid. During their famous scene, the witches surround their cauldron, casting their spell over the Macbeths in fabulous fashion, thanks to a whole lot of dry ice.
Babies in Cradles
Then there are the nine demonic stone babies in cradles, used during a dancing scene for the witches in the middle of the opera. They represent all the babies that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have lost over the years and their eyes glow terrifyingly, like something out of a 1970s horror movie.
Want to see more ghoulish props? Come see Macbeth. Learn more about the show and purchase tickets here.LA Opera is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the greater good.