This week we spread the love for Mmmbeth by Allison Williams. Recorded live at the 2009 Florida State Thespian Conference.
Hi! Welcome to this week’s Spread the Love. This week we are talking about Mmmbeth. Mmmbeth. Not the other thing that it is called, because we don’t do that, we call it ‘The Scottish Play’ or Mmmbeth which of course this is an adaptation of The Scottish Play by Allison Williams our intrepid Shakespeare adaptor and we just so happen to have her here, isn’t that funny, here at the Florida State Thespian Festival.
Hi there! We’re in Florida. It’s really hot and humid.
We like it though because we’re from Canada and it is very cold . I am from Canada. Actually you’re from Canada.
I am from Canada. I still hate the humidity.
Mmmbeth is in our catalogue, first of all because it turns Shakespeare on it’s ear which we love. And also, because it really retains the darkness of the original. This is why I love the play, because it is funny –
I’ve never heard this, this is cool.
Yeah, you’ve got to come and you’ve got to learn these things, this is why you’re in this catalogue. This play is in this catalogue because it is sharp, it is funny and yet retains the darkness of the original and I love that. I love that it combines all of those elements into this tiny little lovely package. And since we have the author here, tell us what you love about this play.
Well, at the time I wrote it, I was directing a production of The Scottish Play and it was at that time the forth production of The Scottish Play that I had directed and man so much crap happens to me every time I direct The Scottish Play. It really does. And for me it is not so much a play of great tragic bad happenings, it is a play of constant small bad happenings. My plane gets fogged in. I lose my wallet in Arkansas. You know, I accidentally curse in front of a whole room full of very conservative students and have to send an apology letter home. And it’s those things that happen to me when I direct this play. So I wanted to write a play that was about all the superstitions and all the bad things that happen to you when you do The Scottish Play. And I like that even though it’s a comedy it still has all the death of the original in it. The floor is just covered in blood. It’s awesome.
Ok we’re putting that next time, we’re going to put that on the back – ‘The floor is covered in blood.’ It’s all good. Ok. And I have to tell you, she is not kidding because I remember when we were working on this play and the number of minute tragic things that were usually associated with The Scottish Play were happening almost daily, on a daily basis of trying to get this play out there. But now it’s good and now it’s happy and we love it.
And it’s full of donuts!
That’s it for Spread the Love!
Spread the donuts!
by Julie Hartley
Shakespeare is one of the greatest resources a drama teacher can have. But teaching it can be a challenge. Practical Approaches to Shakespeare in the Drama Classroom helps drama teachers break down the Bard to make his themes, language and characters accessible to all.