What happens next …

This week Baz Education ran a Macbeth workshop with 9 and 10 year olds. In our rehearsals we talk ad nauseum about playing the story as if we didn’t know what was going to happen next. Suddenly we find ourselves in a room where our audience genuinely don’t know what’s going to happen next …


Me: Has anyone heard of ‘Macbeth’ before? What do you know?

Kid: Is it a love story?

Kid: It’s about desire.

Kid: Is there shouting?


Me: … so now I’m going to ask you a question and if your answer is ‘yes’ I want you to run to that end of the room and shout ‘AY!’. If your answer is ‘no’ I want you to run to that end of the room and shout ‘NAY!’ Ready? Should Macbeth tell his wife about the witches.

[general commotion, shouts of ‘Ay’ and ‘Nay’]

Kid: Can I go in the middle if it’s a ‘maybe’?

Me: Of course, if you want.

Kid: What’s the Shakespeare for ‘maybe’?


Witch: Banquo, your children shall be kings.

Kids: That’s much better – Banquo’s one is much better!

Me: Really?

Kids: Yeah definitely. Your children, that’s MUCH better. Poor Macbeth.


Me: … so Lady Macbeth and Macbeth agree that they are going to kill the king.

Kid: Oh yeah, I bet he creeps up on him in the dark and gets his food and then when he’s not looking he puts the poison in his food and creeps away, with a big smile like this because he’s just poisoned the king and he goes somewhere else and waits to hear the news so he can be all like ‘oh no!’ like he didn’t know already but he did. Yeah. I bet that’s what he does …


Macbeth: Murderers, kill Banquo – secretly.

Banquo [in audience, shocked]: Miss, can I fight him back?


Me: … and at this feast an uninvited guest turns up –

Kid: One of the witches?

Me: Not one of the witches, it was –

Kid: Banquo’s ghost?

Me: Yes!

Kid: NO WAY?

Me: Yes way!

Kid: NO WAY? I just guessed that! I just guessed that!


Me: … so Malcolm says …

Malcolm: Cut down a branch and hold it in front of you.

Me: When the army marches and each one holds a branch in front of them, what do you think it will look like?

[general amazement]


Kid: No way!! They tricked him, the witches tricked Macbeth!

Kid: He thought a forest couldn’t move but it’s going to! They tricked him!


Macbeth [reads]:’ Macbeth, your wife is … dead’ DEAD??!! My wife is DEAD? DEAD?

Lady Macbeth [from audience]: Oh my days, Miss I was lying down, I was LYING DOWN! Just like I was dead, and he says I’m dead! Oh my days, oh my days! It’s like I KNEW! Miss, I was actually lying down!

Macbeth: DEAD?? My wife is DEAD?

Kid: Why did she die?

Kid: She’s a loony, innit?


Me: … and then, at last, finally, Macbeth dies.

Mac beth: Aaagghhhghghghgaaahgghghg

[He dies dramatically]

Kid [spontaneously leaping up, conducting]: Da da, da da da dada –

[Entire class sing the Eastenders theme tune]

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