Theater Superstition # 13

Image of MacBeth

Never say Macbeth in a theatre.

If you are an actor, you may have learned this one the hard way. It is considered bad luck to say the name of Shakespeare’s “Scottish play” inside of a theatre. If you make this egregious mistake, there is no doubt that your fellow actors will become disgruntled and begin suggesting a series of counter curses you must follow to undo the damage. Reciting any line from the lucky play Two Gentlemen of Verona is one way out of the mess you have created. Some will tell you to recite this line from A Midsummer Night’s Dream: “If we shadows have offended, think but this and all is mended, that you have but slumbered here, whilst these visions did appear.” For the more athletically inclined, one should exit the theatre, spin around in a circle three times, and spit. Why is saying Macbeth a theatrical no-no? Well, some of the play draws on witchcraft incantations that supposedly call upon evil spirits. Still, other superstitions suggest that the original actor who played Macbeth died tragically during the performance and the show has been cursed ever since.