The Beinecke Library holds the only extant manuscript of Macbeth—but it’s not the Macbeth that we recognize. In the 1660s, Sir William Davenant adapted Shakespeare’s play for a Restoration audience. His alterations included edits to Shakespeare’s language for ease of comprehension, a greatly expanded role for Lady Macduff, a clearer stance on regicide (this was an important point to clarify after the English Civil War!), several new songs and dances, and even a “flying machine” for the witches.
In this production, we are performing directly from the Beinecke manuscript, preserving the original text, stage directions, and music by John Eccles and Richard Leveridge.