Dreaming of Shakespeare

I’m at the theatre, watching ‘Macbeth’, one of my favourite Shakespeare plays. I listen to the witches upon the heath, ‘Fair is foul, and foul is fair,’ and I recognise them. My mother and my sisters. I get angry because they haven’t told me they were in the play, but I know they will be angry with me because I didn’t tell them I was going to the theatre. I resolve not to tell them I have discovered their secret.

The man sitting next to me has the word ‘kaleidoscope’ tattooed on the back of his hand. I think I should know him, and I keep glancing at his face, but I can’t work out who he is. The tattoo on his hand changes colour as I watch, breaking apart and coming back together.

I hear Macbeth… ‘Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?’ I look up to the stage and I see the same man, sitting next to me moments before, but now dressed all in black with the stage lights reflecting on his blade, and I feel real fear. He’s not there for Duncan, he’s there for me.

I am with him, centre stage, and I am Lady Macbeth. ‘Out, damned spot! Out, I say!’ and then I say nothing more, because I can’t remember the rest of the speech. It is a test, I realise, I am being assessed and my assessors are the audience. I look out across the theatre and I see groups of witches, and every group is laughing.

I turn back to the players and Macbeth is in front of me, holding his blade in front of my eyes. I see the word again, and everything dissolves into colours, everyone is gone and I am swimming in a sea of changing light. I think I will drown…

And then I wake up.



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