The Diptych Lady Macbeth, Queen of Scotland – Le Ballet des Mains Rouges


Lady Macbeth & Le ballet des mains rouges


The story

We are in Scotland on the heath for the famous Shakespearian tragedy with the cursed name, commonly known as ‘The Scottish Play’.

In ‘Lady Macbeth – Queen of Scotland’ we are in a room in Dunsinane castle. Lady Macbeth has just taken her own life. It is the moment of Acte V scene V in the famous Shakespearian tragedy commonly known as ‘The Scottish play’. Her husband’s fate will be sealed in seven and a half pages, that is how the bard wrote it ! And that is the time Lady Macbeth has to tell us how they got into such a pickle!

The spectre of Lady Macbeth is sitting at a table with the three wierd sisters. She takes us to the heath and from there moves through the Scottish play with a very personal point of view.

The power of the invisible; guilt and torment. Shadow bows to the service of the dramaturgy, the set becomes the experimentation ground for the manipulation of objects and the spoken word… Shakespearian of course !

In ‘Le Ballet des Mains Rouges’ we are on the heath. A soldier is chosen by three weird sisters to become king, his wife manipulated to trap him; a bloody story indeed. The Shakespearian epic told in 10 minutes.


Director’s Notes

I discovered Shakespeare as a teenager studying English Literature for my A levels, I love this play and always have but was ever fearful of the ‘curse’ and so never dared put it on stage! In 2013, I was in Edinburgh having my portrait taken for the Puppet Festival in Charleville! We decided to go to the top of Arthur’s seat for the photo session.

It’s from the top of that hill that it all started. A red veil falls into my hands. With the wind and rain as playmates the manipulation begins. This blood red veil changes shape, becomes alive at the summit of Arthur’s seat – the mountain overlooking Edinburgh – a woman appears : Lady Macbeth. From where I stand, I see everything. The blood, the castle, the wind and the rain. What more to ask as inspiration … And then an evidence : I have to tell her story.

William Shakespeare lived and worked during the Elizabethan period in England. Queen Elisabeth the first reined from 1558 until 1603. This was a dangerous period full of political intrigues, assassinations and murders. Shakespeare wrote ‘Macbeth’ in 1606, three years after the death of Queen Elisabeth I and very early in the rein of James I , the son of Mary Stewart, know previously James VI of Scotland. I want to explore the historical and literary links of the era and show how Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ is a mirror of this bloody era.

It was at the same time to accompany the Lady Macbeth tour and to raise the public’s awareness of puppetry arts that the M.A.R.T.O festival commissioned me to make a short, ten minute long street / shop window show. I decided to work around hands, to create a ballet of Lady Macbeth’s hands. Our hands can create, destroy, make or undo!! Hands that transform themselves, that manipulate objects, becoming Shakespearian characters. Two hands to tell Lady Macbeth’s story; in ten minutes!

The two shows on tour together make a great package. We can perform ‘Le Ballet des Mains Rouges’ in the town, in shop windows a day or two prior to the performance date, to announce our arrival or in the Theatre Foyer on the day of the performance. It’s a great appetizer!!



Lady Macbeth

A show suitable for 13 years and up wards.
Acting, shadow theatre & object theatre

Performance lenght : 65 minutes

Written and directed by : Colette Garrigan
Director’s assistant : Laura Muller
Performed by : Colette Garrigan
Dramaturgy : Pauline Thimonnier
Scenery : Sylvain Diamand
Shadow and object theatre : Colette Garrigan & Laura Muller
Acting direction: Jean Louis Heckel
Movement : Claire Heggen
Music: Antoine Quoniam & Nicolas Tritschler
Lighting : Olivier Bourguignon / Jérôme Houles
Sound : Antoine Quoniam
Audience capacity: 120 to 180 people
Stage space: 8m x 8m – Height 3,5m
Total blackout required.

Le Ballet des mains rouges

Family audience
Object Theatre
Performance Length : 10 minutes

Written and directed by : Colette Garrigan
Performed by : Colette Garrigan ou Laura Muller
Scenery : Sylvain Diamand
Lighting : Olivier Bourguignon
Sound universe : Antoine Quoniam
Technician : Pierre Blin ou Jérôme Houles
Show in a shop window looking out to the street.
The show needs a space behind the window of 1,20 m wide 1,80 m high 1,20 m deep.


Production : Association Cie Akselere
Coproductions Lady Macbeth – La Reine d’Écosse : Espace Jean Vilar à Ifs, Théâtre Le Passage à Fécamp, L’Archipel à Granville et le Théâtre Municipal de Coutances.
Coproductions Le Ballet des Mains Rouges : Festival M.A.R.TO avec le soutien du Conseil départemental des Hauts-de-Seine. Ce spectacle appartient au répertoire du projet « Troublantes Apparences », formes courtes en vitrines créées à l’initiative du Mouffetard – Théâtre des arts de la marionnette et en partenariat avec l’association Latitude Marionnette.

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