Play, 2009 (The Just! series)
Just Macbeth! is the seventh book in the Just! series. In 2005 the Bell Shakespeare Company commissioned Andy to write a play that would help introduce young audiences to the works of William Shakespeare and the pleasures of live theatre. Along with co-writer, Jill Griffiths, he came up with Just Macbeth!, which blends the characters from the Just! series with the story and characters from Macbeth. The book Just Macbeth! is a slightly revised version of the play (illustrated by Terry Denton).
Is this the right book for you?
Take the MACBETH TEST and find out.
- Do you love stories about witches, ghosts, time travel, angry garden gnomes and ruthless tyrants?
- Do you ever wish that you could be the boss of everyone and everything?
- Do you think people who are really bad at karaoke deserve to die?
- Do you like the idea of being able to impress people with your knowledge of one of Shakespeare's most famous plays?
- Do you giggle when you hear – or read – the word 'bosom'?
SCORE: One point for each 'yes' answer.
3-5 You are a ruthless tyrant. You are also very immature. You will love this book.
1-2 You are either a ruthless tyrant or simply very immature. You will love this book.
0 You are an immature ruthless tyrant and you don't even know it! You will love this book.
Andy, Lisa and Danny are rehearsing the witches' scene from Shakespeare's Macbeth, which they will be performing for their English class. They make a disgusting potion and then dare each other to drink it. After doing so, they find themselves magically transported back into the battle scene in Act 1, and Andy, taken as Macbeth by the three witches, is told of his fate ('Thou shalt be king hereafter'). From then on the play follows the plot of Macbeth, with Andy, Lisa and Danny taking the roles of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Banquo. They speak to each other as if they were in the 21st century, but sometimes lapse into Shakespearian language, much to their own confusion at times.
The play was first performed at the Arts Centre in Melbourne in September 2008. It then went on to a season in Sydney, had a return sellout season in Sydney at the Opera House in 2010, followed by an extremely well-received season at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Scotland, where it received 5-star reviews from both The Scotsman and The Herald and won a Herald Angel award.
References to other Just! books in Just Macbeth!
Andy's hatred of garden gnomes ('Wish you weren't here')
Andy's bravery in extinguishing a fire in a shopping centre ('Busting'); Andy's rapid journey downhill in a pram ('Runaway Pram); Andy's knowledge of food fights ('Food Fight'); Andy's immature habit of stuffing his mouth full of marshmallows ('Chubby Bubbies')
Andy's inability to remove a Band-Aid ('Band-Aid'); Andy's balloon-powered flight ('A Crazy, Bad, Dumb, Bad, Bad, Dumb, Crazy, Bad Idea'); a mashing and pulverising machine ('Kittens, Puppies and Ponies')
Andy's hatred of brussel sprouts ('Brussel Sprouts'); the movie 'Axe-Wielding, Blood-Sucking Freaks' ('Go to Bed'); Andy's bath-time experiences ('Two Brown Blobs'); Andy and Jen's habit of telling each other to shut up ('Shut up!')
Girl germs ('101 Dangerous Things')