Macbeth

Macbeth – A New Musical

Book, Music and Lyrics by Phil Dennis, Catherine Lomax & Khiley Williams

Based upon William Shakespeare’s classic

Shakespeare’s tragic play is brought to life for your students in this exciting introduction to the Bard’s classic work.

Please note: For Professional & Amateur licences, please get in touch directly as this requires a seperate quote.

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Description

Shakespeare’s tragic play is brought to life for your students in this exciting introduction to the Bard’s classic work.

This adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy explores the themes of greed, ambition and power. Returning from battle Macbeth encounters three Witches who prophesies his future but as he becomes obsessed with power he loses everything important around him, his friends, his family and ultimately his life! Combining traditional Shakespeare and modern language this exquisite adaptation features brand new music and lyrics.

Full Synopsis

The play opens amidst thunder and lightning, and the Three Witches appear and decide that their next meeting shall be with Macbeth.

Soldiers appear singing Another Day Another Battle through which we learn of Macbeth, Thane (Lord) of Glamis, and Banquo, two of King Duncan’s generals have just defeated the allied forces of Norway and Ireland. Macbeth, a relative of the King, is praised for his bravery and fighting prowess.

Macbeth and Banquo appear discussing how uneasy they feel on the Moors, they believe something almost supernatural is around them when the Three Witches enter and greet them with prophecies. Though Banquo challenges them first, they address Macbeth, hailing him as “Thane of Glamis,” “Thane of Cawdor,” and that he shall “be King hereafter.” Macbeth appears to be stunned to silence. The three Witches tell Banquo that he will be less than Macbeth, yet happier, less successful, yet more. He will father a line of kings though he himself will not be one. While the two men wonder at these pronouncements, the witches vanish, and another thane, Ross, arrives and informs Macbeth of his newly bestowed title: Thane of Cawdor. The first prophecy is thus fulfilled, and Macbeth, previously sceptical, immediately begins to harbour ambitions of becoming king.

That evening King Duncan, the King of Scotland, praises Macbeth and Banquo, and spends the evening at Macbeth’s house. Macbeth tells his wife, Lady Macbeth, what the three Witches said and she demands that Macbeth kill King Duncan while he is sleeping. Macbeth is not sure but his wife calls him a coward and eventually he gives in as he and his wife hatch a plan to get the servants drunk so that Macbeth can get into King Duncan’s room when he is asleep and kill him.

While Duncan is asleep, Macbeth kills him, despite his doubts and a hallucination of a bloody dagger. He is so shaken that Lady Macbeth must take charge which she does framing two of the servants for King Duncan’s murder, the full company sing What a Disgrace as they all fall for Lady Macbeth’s deception.

When King Duncan’s sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, hear of their father’s murder they decide to flee to England and Ireland, respectively, fearing that whoever killed Duncan will try and kill them too and so Macbeth takes the throne as the new King of Scotland. While the full company sing Time for a Coronation Banquo remembers the three Witches’ prophesy and grows suspicious of Macbeth.

Macbeth begins to feel uneasy and fearing Banquo’s suspicions, Macbeth arranges to have him and his son murdered, by hiring two men to kill them but while Banquo is killed his son escapes and when Macbeth hears about this he becomes furious fearing that he could loose his power as long as an heir of Banquo remains alive.

Macbeth holds a banquet for all the nobles but his guilt gets the better of him and he sees Banquo’s ghost. Macbeth appears to talk to thin air and get increasingly agitated and all the noblemen and women sing What’s wrong with the King? Until Lady Macbeth managed to convince everyone that Macbeth is just feeling a bit under the weather but when Banquo’s ghost appears again Macbeth’s behaviour becomes so angry that Lady Macbeth tells everyone else to leave and they exit.

Macbeth is at the end of his tether and so goes to visit the three Witches once more. The Witches summon various apparitions and warnings; first, they tell him to beware of Macduff, second, they tell him that no one born of a woman shall be able to harm him and thirdly they tell him that he will be safe until Great Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane Hill. Macbeth is relieved and feels secure because he knows that all men are born of women and forests cannot move but he decides to send soldiers to Macduff’s castle and have everyone inside it murdered, including Lady Macduff and their young son. Macduff who isn’t there is the only one who survives.

Meanwhile, Lady Macbeth has become racked with guilt from the crimes she and her husband have committed. At night, in a trance she is discovered by the servants trying to wash off an imaginary bloodstain from her hands, whilst speaking of the terrible things she and Macbeth have done. The servants are convinced she is mad as they all sing Out Damn Spot.

When Macduff hears his family have been murdered by Macbeth he vows revenge and he and Prince Malcolm, Duncan’s son, raise an army from England and ride to Scotland to overthrow Macbeth’s reign of tyranny. The invasion has the support of the Scottish nobles, who are appalled and frightened by Macbeth’s murderous behaviour. Malcolm leads an army, along with Macduff and while camping in Birnam Wood, the soldiers are ordered to cut down and carry tree limbs to camouflage their numbers.

Before the army reaches Macbeth he receives news that Lady Macbeth has killed herself which causes him to wonder what life is worth until he sees the trees move towards him in an apparent fulfilment of one of the prophecies in the Instrumental tree dance number.

Macbeth is killed by Macduff in battle thereby fulfilling the final prophecy and the show finishes with the number, A Terrible Tragedy.

Cast List

9 Lead Roles

15 Supporting Roles

Flexible Ensemble group made up of soldiers and servants

Macbeth    

A general in the army of King Duncan; originally Thane (Lord) of Glamis, then Thane (Lord) of Cawdor, and later King of Scotland

Lady Macbeth      

Macbeth’s wife, and later Queen of Scotland.

Malcolm    

King Duncan’s elder son

Donalbain     

King Duncan’s younger son

Banquo

Macbeth’s friend and a general in the army of King Duncan

Macduff

Thane (Lord) of Fife and a fellow nobleman.

Witch 1    

A Witch who prophesises Macbeth and Scotland’s future.

Witch 2

A Witch who prophesises Macbeth and Scotland’s future.

Witch 3

A Witch who prophesises Macbeth and Scotland’s future.

Song List

Another Day Another Battle  

Full Company Number.

 

What a Disgrace   

Full Company Number.    

 

Time for a Coronation   

Full Company Number    

 

What’s wrong with the King?

Full Company Number

 

Out Damn Spot       

Full Company Number

 

Instrumental tree dance number   

Instrumental

 

A Terrible Tragedy    

Full Company Number

Resources Available

  • Vocal Score
  • Backing tracks on request
  • Props list
  • Costume plot
  • Logo Pack
  • Teachers Pack
  • Choreography support guide

Licensing Information

Available for Professional, Amateur and/or Schools productions. Please contact us for more information.

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