British Black and Asian Shakespeare Performance Database
Macbeth (1982): Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Shakespeare Theatre
PRINCIPAL CAST: Sara Kestelman (Lady Macbeth); Bob Peck (Macbeth); Pete Postlethwaite (Macduff); Malcolm Storry (Banquo).
"Apparently it is not entirely simple for any director to say how Shakespeare visualised the three Witches of Macbeth, though - goodness knows - there are pointers enough: 'You should be women, and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so.' They have skinny lips and choppy fingers. They are secret, black and midnight hags. They look not like th'inhabitants o' th' earth, and yet are on't. In the circumstances, the current Stratford director, Howard Davies, seems to be more than a little capricious. There are three girls, two white, one coloured. In aspect, two are straight from some suburban party. they are introduced to us in a hazy whirl of what one of my colleagues called 'laundry'. Throughout, what they say is often unintelligble. They bite into each other's lines. They croon and wail. They do without a cauldron (the production is ready to do without things.). They are, indeed, thoroughly tiresome and would deserve Hecate's rebuke (if she were about): 'How did you dare to trade and traffic with Macbeth in riddles and affairs of death?' Still, we do not meet Witches every day. I have seen 30 or so separate productions of Macbeth (some of them several times over), and few of the midnight hags have held the memory. Komisarjevsky, I recall, treated them as old creatures scavenging around the battlefield." ~ J. C. Trewin, "Haggling over some witches", Birmingham Post, 17 April 1982
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