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Macbeth (Rodríguez, 2002)

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In her production of Macbeth, director Jesusa Rodríguez—a prolific Mexican artist, playwright and activist—links the play with several debates and fears of our time. This performance, intense and daring from the onset—although also very uneven, often pointlessly strident—opens with the lines “Macbeth has murdered sleep”. Insomnia and nightmares will become a central theme throughout the production: we see Lady Macbeth taking sleep pills, while Macbeth turns on the T. V. during the night. Three maids, who are later revealed to be the Weird Sisters, clean the bedroom of the couple and polish Macbeth’s shoes frantically, as if they intended to leave everything spotlessly clean, echoing Lady Macbeth’s obsession.

The Macbeths are depicted as members of the political élite and higher classes: powerful and ambitious, and often abusive. On the other hand, Ms. Rodriguez takes the notion of King Duncan as a holy man to an extreme, presenting him as a Christ-like figure, whose fate is known in advance. King Duncan’s appearance closely resembles images of the crucifixion that can be found in many Catholic churches in Mexico. The production displays a complex network of Catholic imagery: Macbeth offers Duncan a last supper, and just before being murdered, the King lifts a chalice in his hands. If Duncan is compared to Christ, Macbeth may be identified with Judas, the traitor. The symbols of the Eucharist, blood and wine, reappear in the disturbing scene of the ghost of Banquo. While the bloody ghost watches from his seat, Macbeth stains his face, his shirt and the white tablecloth with red wine, as the white sheets of the bed where the King was killed.


The audience realizes the play is adapted to a contemporary era immediately as Lady Macbeth receives her husband’s letter through a fax machine. However, the TV news on the morning after the regicide are much more relevant. The news presenter delivers Lennox’s lines: “The night has been unruly: where we lay,/Our chimneys were blown down; and, as they say,/Lamentings heard i’ the air; strange screams of death…” (II.iii.59-61). After these lines, images of the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001 appear on the screen. The reference to this event, which took place less than a year before the premiere of this production, places Macbeth in a modern context, where violence—whether politically motivated or not, as well as corruption and the collapse of regimes challenge our notions of good and evil, of humanity and cruelty.


Jesusa Rodríguez – Director

Luz Aurora Pimentel and Jesusa Rodríguez – Translators

Liliana Felipe – Producer

Marcela Rodríguez – Musical score

Carlos Trejo – Set design

Juliana Faesler – Lighting design

Martha Hellion – Costume design



Arturo Ríos – Macbeth

Clarissa Malheiros – Lady Macbeth

Ricardo Campos – King Duncan, Seyton, Murderer

Diego Jáuregui – Banquo, Porter, Doctor

Constantino Morán – Macduff, Bloody Soldier, Murderer

Silvia Carusillo – Hecate, Lady Macduff, Donalbain

Ziggy Fratta – Ross, Macduff’s child

Carmen Huete – Witch 1

Mercedes Hernández – Witch 2

Mónica Torres – Witch 3

José Juan Meraz – Malcolm, Murderer

Gabino Rodríguez – Fleance, Gardener


Date: June 2002

Type: stage

Director: Jesusa Rodríguez

Play: Macbeth

Language: Spanish

Venue: Teatro Julio Castillo, Mexico City


Two reviews from the newspaper La Jornada:


Review in Universo, the journal of Universidad Veracruzana:



Macbeth : Full Video

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