Superstition in the theater.

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Superstition in the theater.

Message  MurielB le Ven 6 Mai - 21:08

When you are in the theater and you pronounce the word "Macbeth' it brings you bad lucK. When you are on the stage, performing,you can pronounce "Macbeth" it doesn't matter. When you are back stage or in the audience if you say "Macbeth" ill fortune will come to you. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Superstition in the theater.

Message  gerardM le Ven 6 Mai - 23:39

Hi Muriel,

Thanks a lot to warn me! Smile

However I'm relieved as I don't have many opportunities to pronounce this name and, in addition, as I cannot pronounce the "th" properly, the curse may not apply to me! Laughing

What about green color in a theater in England?

~~ edit
I know people must not offer flowers before a performance in the UK.

What about these French superstitions in England?
- word "vendredi"
- word "marteau" replaced by "darraque" (maybe ancient)
- "bonne chance" / "merde"
Regarding "bonne chance":
Au Royaume-Uni, le sort est conjuré par Break a leg ! (casse-toi la jambe !) ; en Allemagne on dit Hals und Beinbruch ! (bris de cou et de jambe) ou bien Toï, toï, toï, répétition de la première syllabe de Teufel (diable).

En Italie, il convient de dire : « In bocca al lupo » (Dans la gueule du loup) auquel le comédien se doit de répondre « Crepi il lupo» (Que le loup crève).
- sifflet
- "corde"
- couleur verte...
c'est le violet en Italie, le vert et le bleu au Royaume-Uni et le jaune en Espagne. Dans ce dernier cas, l'explication vient de la Tauromachie : en effet, la cape du torero étant lie de vin à l'extérieur et jaune à l'intérieur, si le Torero est encorné, la dernière couleur qu'il verra sera le jaune.

Macbeth
Au Royaume-Uni, la pièce de Shakespeare Macbeth est réputée maudite, ainsi les acteurs évitent de prononcer son titre (l'euphémisme la pièce écossaise est utilisé à la place).
Les acteurs interprétant les rôles principaux sont eux-mêmes désignés sous le nom de M et Lady M. On prétend que de graves conséquences peuvent survenir pour quiconque n'utilise pas l'euphémisme. Cependant, on dit que des membres de la distribution sont protégés contre la malédiction - mais cela reste contesté. On dit également que Macbeth n'a jamais été mis en scène sans qu'au moins un des acteurs ne soit mort ou sérieusement blessé pendant le spectacle. Il n'y a aucune preuve objective créditant ou démentant cette superstition, mais il est intéressant de préciser que la pièce inclut davantage de scènes de combat et d'autres fortes occasions d'accident que la moyenne des pièces de Shakespeare. L'origine habituellement attribuée à cette superstition est que Macbeth, étant une pièce très populaire, est généralement programmée par des théâtres en déséquilibre budgétaire, ou encore que les coûts de production élevés de la pièce mettent le théâtre dans l'ennui financier.

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Re: Superstition in the theater.

Message  gerardM le Ven 6 Mai - 23:53

Hi Muriel,

Here are the responses to my questions: Theatrical superstitions (Wikipedia)
The Scottish play
Main article: The Scottish play
Shakespeare's play Macbeth is said to be cursed, so actors avoid saying its name (the euphemism "The Scottish Play" is used instead). Actors also avoid even quoting the lines from Macbeth inside a theatre, particularly the Witches' incantations. Outside of a theatre the play can be spoken of openly. If an actor speaks the name Macbeth in a theatre, he or she is required to leave the theatre building, spin around three times, spit, curse, and then knock to be allowed back in. There are several possible origins for this superstition. One is the assumption that the song of the Weird Sisters is an actual spell that will bring about evil spirits. Another is that there is more swordplay in it than most other Shakespeare plays, and the more swordplay must be rehearsed and performed, the more chances there are for someone to get injured. Yet another option is that the play is often run by theatres that are in debt and looking to increase patronage.

There is also a legend that the play itself was cursed because the first time it was ever performed, the actor playing Macbeth died shortly before or after the production (accounts vary).[citation needed] It is also said that the original production of the play used actual witches and witchcraft, and so the play is cursed.

The YTV/Discovery Kids children's program "Mystery Hunters" actually tempted the curse by uttering "Macbeth" and demonstrated several ways to counteract the curse in the episode "MacBeth/Salem Witches". The superstition is even parodied in an episode of The Simpsons. While visiting London, the Simpson family comes across Sir Ian McKellen outside a theatre showing "Macbeth". Every time "Macbeth" is said, something happens to McKellen; among others, he is struck by lightning numerous times, and a chunk of concrete falls on his head. Jimmy Neutron also made direct reference to the curse when the school performed "Macbeth in Space". In the middle of the play, a tornado rips the school off its foundation, potentially killing everyone inside. Because it is a children's show however, no one was injured, and the tornado was caused by Jimmy's machine, albeit was built for the play and created weather patterns during the performance.

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Re: Superstition in the theater.

Message  MurielB le Sam 7 Mai - 23:42

Thank you ever so much Gérard for giving more details about the subject. It is very interesting. I have one question to Krystyna ( Il have just seen her on the forum but she has disappeared) there is a tradition in Australia : Not to whistle and also not to wear green in a theater.
The whistling is because the people who used to work in doing the bringing in of lights and scenery were often sailors. when you whistle at an inopportune time, someone might just drop a piece of scenery on your head. It's not supersticion it's just very practical and I understand quite well but what about not wearing green. Krystyna, do you know that ?

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Re: Superstition in the theater.

Message  krystynaD le Dim 8 Mai - 0:09

Hi Muriel,

Sorry, I have never heard about these two traditions in the theatre !

BUT, Google tells me that the non-green tradition is because of your very own Molière !!!

During a royal performance before King Louis XIV, Molière began to cough and gasp.
The performance was stalled momentarily, but Molière insisted that he continue.
He bravely made it through the rest of the play, despite collapsing once more and suffering a hemorrhage.

Hours later, after returning home, Molière's life slipped away.
Perhaps due to his reputation, two clergymen refused to administer his last rites.
So, when he died, rumour spread that Molière's soul did not make it into Heaven.

Molière's costume -- the clothing that he died in -- was green.
And since that time, actors have maintained the superstition that it is highly unlucky to wear green while on-stage.
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Re: Superstition in the theater.

Message  MurielB le Dim 8 Mai - 19:22

krystynaD a écrit:Molière's costume -- the clothing that he died in -- was green.
And since that time, actors have maintained the superstition that it is highly unlucky to wear green while on-stage. [/i]
Thanks Krystyna, I didn't know about that !

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