A little Shakespearean sacrilege: Wrestling MacBeth

Picture this: Shakespeare’s MacBeth staged in the style of WWE’s RAW.

I know, you think that’s a ridiculous idea that can’t possibly work. But you’re wrong. Picture the climax of the play, for example:

MacBeth is alone in the ring, mic in hand. He paces back and forth, and then strikes his pose in the centre of the ring.

MACBETH
They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly,
But, bear-like, I must fight the course. What’s he
That was not born of woman? Such a one
Am I to fear, or none.

Young Siward’s theme music plays. He enters, and stands near the entrance.

YOUNG SIWARD
What is thy name?

MACBETH
Thou’lt be afraid to hear it.

YOUNG SIWARD
No; though thou call’st thyself a hotter name
Than any is in hell.

MACBETH
My name’s Macbeth.

YOUNG SIWARD
The devil himself could not pronounce a title
More hateful to mine ear.

MACBETH
No, nor more fearful.

YOUNG SIWARD
Thou liest, abhorred tyrant; with my sword
I’ll prove the lie thou speak’st.

Young Siward runs down the ramp to the ring. He climbs through the ropes, and hurls himself at Macbeth. The match is short, with a couple of good hits by Siward, followed by a volley from Macbeth who ends with his signature move and finishes Siward. Mabeth stands over Young Siward’s broken body.

MACBETH
Thou wast born of woman
But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn,
Brandish’d by man that’s of a woman born.

It looks like its over. But wait. That’s MACDUFF’S theme song! Macduff runs down the ramp, chair in hand, flies into the ring, and hits Macbeth in the back with the chair.

MACDUFF
Turn, hell-hound, turn!

…You get the idea. I’m telling you, it could work. Too bad the budget you’d need to do it would be too much for any theatre company.

But maybe that’s for the best.

In the pit of my stomach, the flight response beckons

I may have mentioned once or twice, that at the end of May, my play The Parliamentarians will be produced at the Red Sandcastle theatre in Toronto. This is a great thing. And yet, if I am 100% honest, it terrifies me. When I think about it, I get that feeling in the pit of my stomach, that feeling you get when you think something terrible is going to happen. That feeling you get when your only choice is to run away. That’s the feeling I’ve been getting when I think about putting this play up. That is the feeling I get when I think about scheduling rehearsals, and finding rehearsal space, and advertising and all of it. Even now, as I think about it, deep in my unconscious mind, in my lizard brain, I feel like I just want to run from it.

And I wonder why that is. Is it that fear of failing that we all struggle with? Is that I am afraid to fail, so much so that my unconscious mind simply tells me that it would be better to run from it. To not even try.

And yet, I know that doing this play will be good for me. So I struggle with that flight response, the pounding of my heart in my chest, the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, the quickened breathing. I fight against it and press on, knowing that I can do this. And that I need to do it.

The Parliamentarians