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Taking a stab at the real Macbeth

29 September 2006

Shakespeare’s Macbeth was mad, bad and dangerous to know – and you probably wouldn’t invite his wife for tea either. But for one night only there’s a fantastic chance to enjoy a show that reveals the real Macbeth in the fabulous setting of Stirling Castle.  Is This A Dagger? is a one-man family show devised and staged by the award winning Edinburgh-based Wee Stories theatre company.

Nick Finnigan, Historic Scotland Events Manager, said: "We all think of Macbeth as a bloody tyrant who was egged on by witches and Lady Macbeth to murder the rightful king, grab his crown, and throw the country into chaos. In fact, he has had a pretty bad press and this intimate one-man show takes a look at the real man behind the centuries of black propaganda.

It’s super family entertainment made even better by the fact that it’s taking place in one of Scotland’s greatest castles."

The actual Macbeth lived at a time when the king was supposed to be the strongest man in the land, and taking the throne by force was common practice.  And far from having a brief and insecure reign, he ruled from 1034 to 1067 and felt sufficiently sure of his position to make a pilgrimage to Rome in 1050 without being worried that someone would snatch the throne while he was away.

Andy Cannon, who performs the show, said: "We'll be taking a journey back in time to explore the life of the real Macbeth who fought his way to the top. He lived at a time when kings came to power, and lost it again, by the sword and being done to death by jealous rivals was an occupational hazard.

We will also explore the strange ways that fact and fiction became merged over time to give us Shakespeare’s familiar tale of murder and witchcraft.!"

The show takes place at Stirling Castle on 20 October 2006. It starts at 7.00pm, lasts around one hour and is suited to anyone over the age of eight years old.  Booking is necessary.  Tickets are £8 and are available from Hub Tickets on 0131 4732000 or

Notes for editors
  • Stirling Castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town off the M9. Telephone 01786 45000.
  • For images and further information call Sophie Ochojna, Wee Stories marketing manager, on 0131 229 3416 or email:
  • To find out more about Wee Stories visit
  • Macbeth’s name was Mac Bethad mac Findlaich and his queen was Gruoch. He was originally a regional ruler in the north but became king of Scots after killing Duncan I in battle. During his reign he became renowned as a benefactor of the church, making gifts to the monks of St Serf’s island on Loch Leven in Perth and Kinross. Macbeth was eventually killed by Malcolm at Lumphanan in August 1057. He was briefly succeeded by his son Lulach who assassinated in March 1058.
  • Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding historic properties and sites in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae.
  • Historic Scotland’s complete events guide can also be seen online at .

For further information

Kate Turnbull
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959