Alan Cumming on ‘Macbeth’ and the Pressure of Theatre Audiences

Alan Cumming is many things: actor, singer, author, photographer, scented bath lotion entrepreneur, but he is. perhaps all else, a Scotsman.  He began his career on the stage in his native Scotland, and that is where he has returned to star in a production Macbeth for the National Theatre of Scotland. 

In an interview with the BBC, Cumming reveals what’s unique about this production in Macbeth: not only is it set in a mental hospital, but Cumming, as a patient, plays every role in the play (although there are side characters — the staff of the hospital — Cumming plays all of the Macbeth characters).  As such, the pressure is enormous, with Cumming pointing out that Glasgow is plastered with his face on Macbeth posters, saying, “It’s so funny because people say, ‘oh, you know, are you nervous?… do you feel the pressure?’ I go, ‘I live it, I walk out of my flat in Glasgow, I go in the subway, I go down the streets, my head is looming Big Brother like from every corner and every subway station.”

Adding to that pressure is the fact that Cumming sees a theatre audience as more challenging than any other.  He explains, “Being in television is very different from being in the movies or the theatre, because you come to them. And so people approach you in a less reverential way.  I’ll just leave it at that.”

Can’t make it to Scotland?  There’s good news — the production is set to move to New York, where Cumming lives most of the time these days, later in the year.

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Sterling-k-brown-this-is-us.jpg
Sterling K. Brown on Becoming an Actor: “You get bit, and you just keep chasing that”
"I was used to being 'that dude from that show, who got shot in that episode'" - Sterling K. Brown
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/richard-dreyfuss.jpg
Richard Dreyfuss on Winning an Oscar: “You’re riskier when you’re on the hunt”
"I had no doubt of my eventual success." - Richard Dreyfuss
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Shannon-Purser-Stranger-Things.jpg
‘Stranger Things’ Star Shannon Purser on Getting Cast as Barb
"I had never booked anything, gotten close calls, and then one day I got an email about this new show called Stranger Things, asking for a tape." - Shannon Purser
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/watch-sag-conversations-on-broad.jpg
Watch: SAG Conversations on Broadway with Andy Karl
Karl recalls his highs and lows on stages and reveals the charming side that has made him a huge star.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/watch-sag-conversations-with-ale.jpg
Watch: SAG Conversations with Alexander Skarsgard of ‘Big Little Lies’
Skarsgard talks about his career and work on HBO's 'Big Little Lies'