Macbeth News: Blockbuster Set to Film on Skye, Windfarm Threatens Hill Fort

Macbeth Illustration

Macbeth Illustration

The Isle of Skye has been confirmed as a shooting location for the latest version of Macbeth to take to the silver screen. The Hollywood blockbuster, starring Oscar contender Michael Fassbender in the title roll, has received £200,000 worth of support from arts body Creative Scotland for several on-location shoots due to take place later this month in the north of Skye.

Known as Shakespeare’s Scottish play, the film adaptation is set to be a traditional retelling of the story of the 11th century general-turned King of Scotland. The film’s synopsis reads, “Macbeth is the story of a fearless warrior and inspiring leader brought low by ambition and desire. A thrilling interpretation of the dramatic realities of the times and a truthful re-imagining of what wartime must have really been like for one of Shakespeare’s most famous and compelling characters, a story of all-consuming passion and ambition set in war torn 11th Century Scotland.”

Lady Macbeth will be played by French Oscar winner Marion Cotrillard, who last week voiced concern that her attempted Scots accent may curse the film. A source said: “Marion worked with a voice coach to learn the accent but it drove her crazy and she feared she would ruin the film. The idea of Lady Macbeth speaking with a French accent is entirely legitimate, taking into account the French-Scottish alliance of that time.”


In other Macbeth related news, a major campaign was launched last week to prevent what would be Perthshire’s tallest windfarm being built near an ancient hill fort immortalised in the play. The owners of the Bandirran Estate and green energy company Banks Renewables have submitted a joint application to develop a “community” wind project near Balbeggie and close to the historic fort on Dunsinane Hill.

The development has sparked an outcry among residents and anti-windfarm campaigners, who it will overshadow the scenic Sidlaw Hills in Perthshire and the hill fort made famous when, in the early 1600s, William Shakespeare wrote: “Macbeth shall never vanquished be, until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill shall come against him”.

The Braes of the Carse Conservation Group has launched a Save our Sidlaws campaign, aimed at blocking the development.

Marilyn Webb, the group’s secretary, said: “Six massive wind turbines are proposed for the initial development. These would be over twice the height of the Scott Monument in Edinburgh, bigger than Big Ben and out of all proportion to the surrounding landscape.

“They will be visible from Birnam Wood and large parts of central eastern Scotland – the Three Witches never predicted this one.”


About Nadine Lee

Originally from New Zealand, Nadine is a documentary researcher now based in the north east of Scotland.

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