For theater critics, it can be tough to keep an open mind about the plays they are going to see. For original works? Sure, there is no problem with not coming into the production with any sort of prejudice towards the play. But when it comes to adaptations that have been produced time and time again, some critics tend to grow just a little bit sick of seeing plays repeatedly. Never is this more true for the critics who are forced to see plays, the scripts of which they already detest.
No matter how good the production of a play is, if you already hate the script, it can be hard to get past that. In Australia, the play of William Shakespeare’s that is performed the most frequently is Macbeth. And one theater critic, Jane Howard, hates Macbeth so much that she might actually be okay with saying its name backstage, a notorious jinx in the theater community.
Howard notes that Macbeth is too open to varying interpretations for the play to not make her cringe, on top of the “bleak” and “unrelenting” basis for the play with which she finds it challenging to grapple. However, despite having seen the play eight times in seven years, Howard says she will never stop attending showings of Macbeth because she believes in the power of the theater to transcend its story, even if not every performance is quality.
Macbeth is, of course, one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays as it surrounds the slow mental deterioration of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth after they work together to commit an unforgivable murder that haunts them for the rest of their lives in a quest, for the both of them, to achieve power. So yes, it is not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea, to say the least.