Thanks to the blockbuster movie Macbeth, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, Shakespeare is certainly enjoying popularity in the mainstream and creating a lot of interest in the stunning landscape where the movie was filmed and where the real Macbeth lived out his tumultuous life.
And while the film received rave reviews, the Scottish countryside also plays a starring role.
Speaking about the movie, actor Michael Fassbender said: “It’s called the Scottish play and Scotland is undoubtedly one of the stars of the movie. The reason it is so beautiful is because it’s so beautiful up here. I’m glad to be here; I’ve not been up for six years and I always love being here. I could honestly live up here, I love it.”
Macbeth director Justin Kurzel was equally enthusiastic: “I just think that the way that we wanted the costumes, even the war paint, was to almost come out of the earth of Scotland. So it was very organic. I was really foremost led by that place and that landscape to kind of define the look of the film.
“The landscape in Australia is really significant, and there’s a very strange relationship that you have with it. It can be incredibly intimidating, and I felt the exact same way when I went to Scotland: it makes you feel that small.”
In Elgin, on Thursday, January 21, there’s a chance to find out more about “The Real Macbeth”, when Cameron Taylor hosts a talk and film at the gallery in Elgin Library. In addition to his day job as Moray Speyside Tourism’s operations manager, Mr Taylor has a double life as a Macbeth enthusiast and historian.
He is the co-author of On the Trail of the Real Macbeth, now in its second edition, and he will present Flying Mirror’s recently released video documentary about the real Macbeth, followed by a discussion on Moray’s “lost” Macbeth, while visitors will also get an opportunity to handle replicas of items from 1,000 years ago.
The event starts at 7pm, but those attending should aim to be there from 6.30pm.
Or, if you want to follow in the film’s footsteps – and even make a home movie starring yourself – then here’s some places you may want to visit:
Free to visit, it is a one-hour walk from the car park, which is located two and a half miles from Staffin. The Quiraing is the scene of Macbeth’s army returning home from battle and where Macbeth is awarded the title Thane of Cawdor.
THE FAIRY POOLS AND GLEN BRITTLE, SKYE
Free to visit, a 20-minute walk from a Forestry Commission car
park, this mystical location is the site of a key scene in the film – Banquo’s assassination on the orders of Macbeth. Nearby, at the foot of the Black Cuillins, are the enchanting Fairy Pools.
THE OLD MAN OF STORR, SKYE
Free to visit, it is a 40-minute walk from car park, which is located on the main road, 6.8 miles from Portree. An imposing part of the landscape, this stunning part of Skye features as Macbeth is riding towards the battlefield.
For more information on visiting the above locations, visit www.isleofskye.com/skye-guide/top-ten-skye-walks