I, Banquo

Play Information
Rating: Excellent
Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Anthology: I, Shakespeare
Author: Tim Crouch
Publisher: Oberon Books
Year: 2005
Pages: 15
Acts: 1
Estimated Runtime: 30 min
Number of Characters: 2
Cast Requirements: 1 Man, 1 guitarist
Time Period: 11th Century
Production Requirements: Stage with white backdrop needed to be replaced after each performance, bucket of blood, various gory props, bleachable or disposable costume.

One of (currently) five in the I, Shakespeare series by Crouch which retell plays from the point of view of lesser characters, this one-man show retells the story of Macbeth through the all-seeing eyes of Banquo’s spirit.  Banquo narrates the story from a unique perspective, repeatedly pronouncing “It could have been me,” leading the audience through his journey trying to make sense of Macbeth’s actions.  He compares those actions to what his own might have been in the same situation.  Perfect for a Shakespeare enthusiast, a familiarity with the original work is preferable for a deeper understanding of this play. 

In the author’s note it is mentioned that this play is “an existential horror movie for 11-year olds.”  The heavy subject matter and use of blood and gore throughout perhaps speaks to an older audience.  The play, originally performed by Crouch himself, relies heavily on his expertise and acting abilities.  A strong, experienced actor would be required to replace the roll with any success. Teachers will appreciate the abundant discussion topics the play provides for post-show enrichment.