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Sunday, 22 July, 2001, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Scottish play revives castle links
Cawdor Castle
Macbeth was "Thane of Cawdor"
A theatre company is taking a production of Shakespeare's Scottish play to the castle where it was set for the first time.

The Cutting Edge Theatre Company, formed in 1995, will be the first group to perform Macbeth in the place where the playwright said it happened - Cawdor Castle.

The play about ambition, regicide and guilt is associated with numerous places throughout Scotland but many academics have pointed to Cawdor as the location of the murder of King Duncan.

The real Macbeth was "Thane of Cawdor" and became King of Scotland after the death of Duncan in the 11th century.

Shakespeare's play was inaccurate
In the Shakespeare play, written in 1606, the murder of Duncan takes place in Inverness Castle, but it is often associated with Cawdor Castle, near Nairn, Inverness-shire.

However, Cawdor Castle was not built until the late 14th century and so could not have been where King Duncan's blood was spilt.

The Edinburgh-based Cutting Edge Theatre company persuaded the present-day 25th Thane of Cawdor, Lord Cawdor, 39, to allow the castle to be used for the performances.

The performances take place on Sunday and Monday evenings.

They are being held outdoors in a location by the Cawdor woods and also in front of the castle.

Local chieftains

Lord Cawdor said: "I've seen plenty of performances of Macbeth, but obviously none here. It'll be an interesting experience. I don't quite know what I'll think or feel."

The Thanes of Cawdor were local chieftains.

The real Macbeth became King of Scotland after the death of Duncan but was killed at Lumphanan in what is now Aberdeenshire and buried on the island of Iona.

Shakespeare's version was based on the work of the 16th-century English historian Raphael Hollinshead.

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