There have been by my count no less than six adaptations of
Highly accessible and enjoyable to watch.
In this adaptation Macbeth is Zi Yin, the most noted General in the Xu state, who rises on the back of his battlefield success to be Prime Minister of Xu. Egged on by his wife his lust for power is not sated by this and he murders the King and King’s relatives, seizing the crown for himself, before suffering his ultimate comeuppance. The use of some very impressive acrobatics and dancing along with highly striking face masks make the whole production utterly compelling. Haunted by ghosts and guilt Zi Yin ultimately becomes the titular Terrified Soul.
Though performed in Mandarin this opera has subtitles on a screen visible to the audience. The translation work could have been a lot better, though it did result in some wonderful lines appearing on screen such as “With the rebel executed at last, to your estate we’ll pay a visit fast”, “Long brewed wine cracked open with a flavor [sic], Dedicated to our King for a saver [sic]”. The scenes are named (Scene 3: Blood Sword, Scene 4: More Murders) but this may be a deliberate joke. Certainly one line is rather witty “I never practice martial arts but liberal arts”.
The China Anhui Opera Institute have adapted a style that will be unfamiliar to many Edinburgh audiences in a way that works extremely well and is highly accessible and enjoyable to watch.