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‘Macbeth’ To Be Staged At BSA

Mohammd Asadurjaman Aslam Molla

1 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

‘Macbeth’ To 
Be Staged At BSA

Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Dhaka, will stage their theatre production ‘Macbeth’, translated by Syed Shamsul Haque and directed by Dr Israfeel Shaheen, from February 2-4 at National Theatre Hall, BSA.

The play begins in a military camp, where the Scottish King Duncan hears the news that his generals, Macbeth and Banquo, have defeated two separate invading armies - one from Ireland, led by the rebel Macdonwald and another from Norway.

While crossing a moor Macbeth and Banquo encounter three witches. The witches prophesise that Macbeth will be crowned as Thane of Cawdor (a rank of Scottish nobility) and eventually King of Scotland. They also foretell that Macbeth’s companion, Banquo, will beget a line of Scottish kings, although he will never be king himself. Then the witches vanish. Macbeth and Banquo treat their prophecies sceptically until some of King Duncan’s men come to thank the two generals for their victories in battle and to tell Macbeth that he has indeed been named Thane of Cawdor.

After hearing the news, Macbeth is intrigued by the possibility of the rest of the witches’ prophecies - that he will be crowned king - might be true, but he is uncertain what to expect. He visits with King Duncan and they plan to dine together at Inverness, Macbeth’s castle, that night. Macbeth writes ahead to his wife, Lady Macbeth, telling her all that has happened. Lady Macbeth suffers none of her husband’s uncertainty. She desires the kingship for him and wants him to murder Duncan in order to obtain it. When Macbeth arrives at Inverness, she overrides all of her husband’s objections and persuades him to kill the king that very night. He and Lady Macbeth plan to get Duncan’s two chamberlains drunk (so they will black out); the next morning they will blame the murder on the chamberlains, who will be defenceless, as they will remember nothing. While Duncan is asleep, Macbeth stabs him, despite his doubts and a number of supernatural portents, including a vision of a bloody dagger. When Duncan’s death is discovered in the next morning, Macbeth kills the chamberlains - ostensibly out of rage at their crime - and easily assumes the kingship. Duncan’s sons Malcolm and Donalbain flee to England and Ireland, respectively, fearing that whoever killed Duncan desires their demise as well.

Macbeth becomes the king and to prevent his dominion he gets crazy and kills everyone who can be a risk for his kingship. Macbeth hires a group of murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. They ambush Banquo on his way to a royal feast, but they fail to kill Fleance. Macbeth becomes furious. When he learns that Macduff has fled to England to join Malcolm, Macbeth orders that Macduff’s castle be seized and, most cruelly, that Lady Macduff and her children be murdered.

In the meantime Prince Malcolm, Duncan’s son, succeeds in raising an army in England and Macduff joins him as he rides to Scotland to challenge Macbeth’s forces. The invasion has the support of the Scottish nobles, who are appalled and frightened by Macbeth’s tyrannical and murderous behaviour. Lady Macbeth, meanwhile, becomes plagued with fits of sleepwalking in which she bemoans what she believes to be bloodstains on her hands. Before Macbeth’s opponents arrive, Macbeth receives news that she has killed herself, causing him to sink into a deep and pessimistic despair. In the battle, Macbeth hews violently, but the English forces gradually overwhelm his army and castle. On the battlefield, Macbeth encounters the vengeful Macduff. Macbeth continues to fight until Macduff kills and beheads him.

Ashiq Rahman Leeon will design stage and light while Kazi Tamanna Haque and Umme Somaiya will design the costumes. The play will be choreographed by Amit Chowdhury.

It is mentionable that Macbeth will also be staged on February 10 in Delhi and on February12 in Jharkhand as a part of 20th Bharat Rang Mahotsav 2019.