Gordonstoun stages new-look Macbeth 60 years after King Charles took leading role

Pupils from King Charles’ former school will stage a performance of Macbeth 57 years after Charles played the leading role. 

Event goers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will be treated to a rock adaptation of one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays, showing from 5-12 August. 

Pupils at Gordonstoun will bring the story to the stage to the music of Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro, with top hits including ‘Mountains’ and ‘Many of Horror’.

The band was chosen for this contemporary pairing as the songs touch upon many of the same topics explored throughout the play. 

Angus Brown, 18, who plays Macbeth said: ‘Macbeth was my first real introduction to Shakespeare and, from an acting perspective, I have absolutely fallen in love with the language and style of his writing. 

‘Paired with the music of Biffy Clyro, this version of Macbeth is definitely a unique experience. To all that come to watch, I hope you enjoy the show.’

Theo MacGregor, 18, who plays Lady Macbeth, said: ‘It’s been the most incredible experience to do our version of Macbeth.

Gordonstoun school drama department perform Macbeth at Innes House, Moray.
Credit: Michael Traill

‘The process of combining the 400-year-old show with modern rock music has been a lot of fun and really ramps the show up. 

‘We have the most amazing team and teachers! I’m so excited to go to the Fringe with them, even if it is totally nerve-racking.

‘It’s been fascinating playing the part of Lady Macbeth and I’ve been able to find my own style of acting throughout the process. 

‘She is pushed to insanity by personal grief and pain, more than merely being a horrible person, but she certainly is manipulative.’

Both Theo and Angus have been heavily involved in the dance and drama departments throughout their time at Gordonstoun, initially sharing the role of ‘Puck’ in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ three years ago.

King Charles joined Gordonstoun in 1962 and went on to play Macbeth in the school production in 1966.

Principal of Gordonstoun Lisa Kerr said: ‘This is a production cloaked in passion and energy. 

‘The rock musical production of Macbeth is worlds apart from the one His Majesty will remember. 

‘Our drama department has reinterpreted the famous play using some of Biffy Clyro’s best known songs and combined them with Shakespeare’s prose.  

‘Performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is such an exciting opportunity for the students, and the audience will bear witness to Macbeth as they have never seen it before.’

A total of 15 students from Gordonstoun, aged from 16-18, will take part in the performance.

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