Macbeth: Study Day

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Explore Macbeth‘s bloody rise to the throne and explore our 2023 production with our interactive Study Day.

Spend an afternoon with expert academics and researchers and explore the themes and characters of the play through a series of talks and discussions. You’ll learn more about the historical and cultural context in which it was written and understand how Shakespeare’s enduring tragedy has been brought to life on stage. Plus, you’ll end the day with a Q&A with members of the actors company of our 2023 production, giving you the chance to ask questions and gain further insight into this summer’s show.

This study day can be enjoyed on its own but is also a perfect introduction to our production of Macbeth. Round off your day of Shakespeare with a ticket for the evening performance following the study day. Tickets for the performance are not included in the study day ticket price and must be purchased separately.



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This event is on-site.

Running time is approximately 6 hours, including breaks

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Part of Research Events

Photography: Johan Persson
Art Direction: Irene Omodeo Zorini

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12.00pm – Welcome with Dr Hanh Bui, Teaching and Research Fellow, Shakespeare’s Globe

12.15 – 1.15pm – Session 1: ‘Macbeth and Its Afterlives with Dr Paul Prescott, University of California, Merced

In writing this play, Shakespeare adapted a pre-existing story about an eleventh-century King of Scotland named Macbeth to fit the needs both of a Globe audience and a newly crowned (Scottish) King of England. From the moment Shakespeare died, others began rewriting Macbeth. This session explores how actors, writers, and directors, sought to modify, improve and reimagine this story over the last four centuries.

1.15pm – 2.15pm – Break for lunch

2.15pm – 3.15pm – Session 2: ‘“What beast was’t then?”: A Macbeth Bestiary’ with Dr Sally Barnden, Swansea University

What can one do with ‘eye of newt’? Why does an owl shriek before a murder? This session explores the natural world and the role of animals in Macbeth, from the witches’ familiars to the use of bear-baiting and falconry as metaphors for Macbeth’s tyranny.

3.30pm – 4.30pm – Session 3: ‘“In measure, time and place”: Jacobean Macbeth’ with Dr Tristan Marshall, University of Cambridge.

This session looks at Macbeth as it was performed in 1606, focusing on the staging of Scotland and contemporary concerns with the supernatural. It also considers the impact of Thomas Middleton’s hand in the version of the play that’s come down to us in the 1623 First Folio, showing how understanding the Jacobean Macbeth can frame perceptions of contemporary productions.

4.30pm – 5.00pm – Tea break

5.00pm – 6.00pm – Q&A with members of the Macbeth cast


Introducing the speakers for this Study Day