The villiainous Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have been made infamous by Shakespeare's play, but did you know about the real Macbeths who ascended to the throne 983 years ago today?
14 August 2023
The world knows him as the murderer and usurper title character in Shakespeare's tragedy, but Macbeth, or Mac Bethad mac Findláich, was a real person who became King of the Scots on this day in 1040 after killing the ruling King Duncan in battle near Elgin.
His marriage to Gruoch ingen Boite, the granddaughter of King Kenneth III, who became Queen Consort Macbeth, strengthened his claim to the throne.
Seventeen years later, on 15 August 1057, he was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire by Duncan's eldest son, Malcolm Canmore.
In our new production of Macbeth, the entirety of the cast are Scottish, with the exception of Lady Macbeth, who will be played by Northern Irish actor Valene Kane. Macbeth is played by Reuben Joseph, recently seen as Alexander Hamilton in London's West End.
The all-Celtic company have been chosen by director Wils Wilson to offer an opportunity to celebrate the 'Scottish Play' in a meaningful way, with a sense of authenticity.
Macbeth plays in our Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 19 August to 14 October.
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