February 26

March 22, 2015

in CST's Courtyard Theater

by David Greig
directed by Roxana Silbert
from the National Theatre of Scotland
and Royal Shakespeare Company

The Story

Under the cover of night, an English army sweeps through Scotland, arriving at Macbeth’s castle of Dunsinane. A fierce battle ensues, they kill the king, and take the seat of Scottish power. The English commanding officer, Siward, discovers that Lady Macbeth (the Scottish Queen Gruach) is not dead. As he attempts to install Malcolm as Scotland’s new king, Siward discovers that many will never accept another ruler while Gruach lives. One of Siward’s Scottish allies, Macduff, suggests killing Gruach to end the conflict, but Siward refuses.

Siward attempts to encourage Gruach to renounce her claim to the throne. He tries to understand the political landscape and allegiances of the country. A parliament is called and, in a surprise move, he proposes to achieve peace through a marriage between Gruach and Malcolm, a plan to which both agree. But on the night of their wedding Gruach’s men, storming the castle to free her, kill several of Siward’s army.

Realizing that Lulach, the queen’s son and heir, is still alive, Siward puts all his efforts into finding mother and son—against Malcolm’s advice. After much bloodshed, Siward’s men capture Lulach and execute him. Believing that Lulach’s death will end the conflict, Siward feels compelled to return the son’s body to Gruach. When he finds her, the queen is holding a baby, whom she claims is Lulach’s child—and the next, true king of Scotland.

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