Alan Cumming on His One-Man ‘Macbeth’: “I think, if I ever have a lapse in concentration, the whole pack of cards is going to tumble down”

alan-cumming-macbethAnyone who has followed Alan Cumming’s career knows that he is always good for a shock.

So it’s no surprise that the actor is appearing in a new version of Macbeth at the Lincoln Center Festival in which he plays every single role. 

The decision to make the production a solo show was made by one of the directors, Andy Goldberg.  “My initial idea was I’d play Macbeth one night and Lady Macbeth the next, and the actress and I would switch off,” Cumming told The New York Post.  “Andy was at the reading and said, ‘Why doesn’t Alan just do all the parts?’  And he had an idea to do it in a [mental] hospital.  It’s not really a one-man show—there’s also a doctor and a nurse.  But I play all the parts in Macbeth.”

Although Cumming was up for the challenge, he admits the show is “exhausting.  Terrifying!  I think, if I ever have a lapse in concentration, the whole pack of cards is going to tumble down.  Usually, when someone else is speaking, you can cough or fart or whatever.  But here you just can’t.  There are a couple of bits where I get sedated and lie down for about 30 seconds and it’s like, nirvana!”

The other project Cumming has is starring as Eli Gold in CBS’ hit drama The Good Wife.  “This play has been such an overwhelming experience, it seems I’m 10,000 miles away from Eli Gold and everyone else,” he said.  “I’m shooting two days on it while I’m at Lincoln Center so I’ll be double dipping.”

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