All the old theatres used to burn down periodically due to the gas/candle
that's why we have the 'West-End' basically the theatres moved west of
the city where they could not be so cramped together. The idea being
that if your neighbour bunt to the ground you would stand a better chance.
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". . . wherein yet nothing did perish but wood and
and straw, and a few forsaken cloaks; only one man
had his breeches set on fire, that would perhaps
have broiled him, if he had not, by the benefit of
a provident wit, put it out with bottle ale."
I directed the Scottish play last spring and did some research on the
curse associated with it. The evidence for such a curse began quite
early in the play's history. After the opening performance in 1606,
Hal Berridge, the boy who played Lady M, died backstage. From there
the legend has grown.
From _An Actor Behaves_ by Tom Markus
"...the greateast danger in fight sequences is that they are
underrehearsed. Once again, time is the enemy of theatre. That's what's
behind the English superstitions surrounding *MacBeth*. English actors
frequently will not mention the title, referring to it as "the Scottish
play" and to the title role as "the thane" or "Mackers". They hold that
quoting lines from it in the dressing room is bad luck. It is also
believed that some terrible accident will occur during any production of
the play. Frequently this is explained by alleging that the invocations
spoken by the witches are real, but the more sensible reason is this: the
play is frequently produced without sufficient rehearsal time. It's a
short script and can be learned fast. And it is usually popular at the box
office. But producing Macbeth in three weeks is asking for trouble. All
those fight scenes! Small wonder there are so many accidents!..."
Warehouse Repertory Theatre
This theory would be O.K. except for the large number of other
plays with plenty of swordplay and no such reputation.