- USC Digital Folklore Archives - http://folklore.usc.edu -

Don’t say “Macbeth” backstage

Posted By Emma Clarke On May 14, 2013 @ 10:56 pm In Customs,Folk Beliefs,Magic | Comments Disabled

“Macbeth–the Scottish play. You can’t say it backstage during a performance.”

 

Actors are probably the most superstitious professional group on the planet. Among their more common superstitions is the idea that “the Scottish play” – Macbeth – is cursed. Simply speaking the name of the play backstage will bring calamity upon whatever production is being put on, so actors call it “the Scottish play” instead. There are legends about bad luck following the productions of Macbeth, but at this point, the superstition is likely kept up just for traditions’ sake. However, my informant was adamant about the fact that she would not speak the name backstage, even though she doesn’t personally believe in the curse; apparently, enough actors do believe in it that it is better to refrain than risk their wrath.


Article printed from USC Digital Folklore Archives: http://folklore.usc.edu

URL to article: http://folklore.usc.edu/?p=19232