A look at the Scottish play and the real Macbeth

An exploration of Shakespeare’s Scottish play is coming to our TV screens this week.

Cathy MacDonald finds the Gaelic roots of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and explores the landscape where the real history happened and she discovers that the real King Macbeth was very different to Shakespeare’s cruel villain.

Cathy visits the Birnam Oak, all that remains of the forest where Macbeth’s enemy cut branches to conceal their advance.

And she stands atop Dunsinnan Hill where Shakespeare’s Macbeth famously meets his end, and Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire where the real King Macbeth died.

Historians tell Cathy about King MacBeth and Queen Gruoch and also about what influence Shakespeare’s patron, King James VI & I, had on the play.

Macbeth was brought back to life on stage, in Gaelic, by actors David Walker and Catriona Lexy Campbell. Catriona says what it was like to play the role of the infamous Lady Macbeth and Ian Macdonald explains how he went about translating Shakespeare’s words.

Sar Sgeoil: Macbeth will be shown on Tuesday 8 October, on BBC ALBA, from 9-10pm.