Open Forum

Blood and Lady M

  • 1.  Blood and Lady M

    Posted 02-12-2020 19:02
    We are producing Macbeth and I need blood on Lady M's hands. I've never worked with fake bloodbefore and everything I am looking to order only addresses blood capsules that are broken open in the mouth. Can someone tell me if there are capsules or tiny packets that will break open in her hands as she rubs them together, or will regular blood capsules get the job done? Thanks so much.

  • 2.  RE: Blood and Lady M

    Posted 02-13-2020 00:22
    When I directed this show, we used a liquid fake blood that my tech director made. I'm not sure what recipe she used, but there are several recipes online, and you can also purchase it. We had two crew members in charge of applying the blood (using a sponge) to Macbeth and Lady M's hands while they were backstage.

    Elizabeth Berg
    Drama Teacher

  • 3.  RE: Blood and Lady M

    Posted 02-14-2020 13:47
    I saw a great production at the Illinois High School Theatre Festival this year that used a silk red scarf. Worked nice. 

  • 4.  RE: Blood and Lady M

    Posted 02-14-2020 14:15
    I like the idea of the red silk scarf.  That is a great idea.  Consider that stolen ;-)

    Mack Dugger
    Department of Teaching and Learning
    Pacific Avenue Education Center
    440 W. Lomita Ave., Glendale, CA 91204
    "Totus Mundus agit historionem"
    Bravo award winning Teacher
    Kennedy Center Creative Ticket Award
    Laissez les bons temps rouler!

  • 5.  RE: Blood and Lady M

    Posted 02-13-2020 06:04
    There is a powder that is nearly invisible that can be rubbed onto skin and then if moistened it will develop into blood. I think maybe by Mehron. But I’m curious which scene this is for ? If it’s when they murder Duncan that is probably off stage anyway ... and at the end when she is going crazy there is no actual blood ... it’s all in her mind and she is hallucinating...

    Toni Thomas
    English & Theatre Teacher & Director
    Ogemaw Heights High School

    Sent from my iPhone

  • 6.  RE: Blood and Lady M

    Posted 02-13-2020 08:10
    She should be able to apply her own blood, or have a tech person do it, off stage when she goes to return the daggers. I think when our Shakespeare company did it she probably had a bowl of liquid blood off stage. It will be way cheaper and easier for you to just make your own blood. I recommend a recipe of clear corn syrup, liquid dish soap (this makes it easier to wash out if she gets any on her costume) and red and blue (just a little bit) food coloring. That keeps it looking like fresh, flowing blood, which makes sense since it wouldn't be clotting yet right after the death of Duncan.

    Please don't use blood during her "out out damned spot" scene, as that's supposed to be a hallucination.

    Cassy Maxton-Whitacre
    Theatre Department Coordinator
    Fishersville VA

  • 7.  RE: Blood and Lady M

    Posted 02-13-2020 10:59
    The killing of Duncan with Mac and Lady M is easy and offstage. The problem is I am staging Act 5, scene 1. I know the blood is imaginary but I really like the Folger/Two Rivers collaboration production and the one thing I have taken from it is the use of blood appearing on her hands as she rubs them together.  It's a great effect I chose to incorporate. (Not worried about the nightgown - we have one for every performance. ) Just trying to figure out how to make it happen. Thank you for the Graftibian blood powder idea. 

  • 8.  RE: Blood and Lady M

    Posted 02-13-2020 09:03



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  • 9.  RE: Blood and Lady M

    Posted 02-13-2020 10:25
    Hello Susan,

    There is a great article in on "blood and guts" that may be of some help.  Please see attached link.

    Good luck!

    Jim Curtis
    Events Manager
    Educational Theatre Association
    Cincinnati OH

  • 10.  RE: Blood and Lady M

    Posted 02-13-2020 10:32
    I have had a lot of experience with stage blood, and also I recommend just making some blood versus messing with powders or caps which are meant for a different use.  And as much as I love the washability of a recipe with dish soap, it is always a little too transparent and pinkish onstage, rather than rich and opaque.  Not to mention the dish soap can foam. For my most recent Macbeth, we made a batch of very viscous blood from this recipe for the dagger scene for both Macbeth and Lady M and it worked very well.   It didn't drip at all and comes off skin very well with a generous application of dish soap at the sink.  It is also easy to customize this recipe by tweaking the proportions. The key is the gel food coloring which you can get at a craft store.  Get the Super Red or Red Red color. Cheap, easy and tells the story superbly on stage.  Start with a double batch.
    Makes about ½ cup
    • ½ cup light corn syrup
    • 2-3 drops red gel color
    • 1½ Tbsp cocoa powder
    • 1½ Tbsp corn starch
    1. In a small bowl combine corn syrup, red coloring, cocoa powder and corn starch. Stir together until all ingredients are well mixed, adjusting the color with more red color or cocoa powder as needed. If desired, add more cornstarch to create a thicker consistency.

    Elana Kepner
    Theatre Instructor
    The Oakwood School
    Greenville NC

  • 11.  RE: Blood and Lady M

    Posted 02-13-2020 11:41
    Hi Susan,

    If you need the blood to appear on stage, you can make a small blood packet from a plastic bag that you can heat seal then puncture with a needle or lancet. You can also anoint her hands off stage.  

    Mack Dugger
    Department of Teaching and Learning
    Pacific Avenue Education Center
    440 W. Lomita Ave., Glendale, CA 91204
    "Totus Mundus agit historionem"
    Bravo award winning Teacher
    Kennedy Center Creative Ticket Award
    Laissez les bons temps rouler!

  • 12.  RE: Blood and Lady M

    Posted 02-14-2020 17:17
    Hey Susan!
    I have had many years of experience with all things bloody. I have provided blood effects for film, television, and stage. I have a stupid number of personal recipes I have developed over the years. There is an infinite number of blood recipes out there, and an equally overwhelming number of blood products from a ridiculous number of vendors. And the absolute first thing I do with every single director I have ever worked with . . . I will try my darndest to talk you out of it. I will do everything in my power to convince you that you DO NOT need fake blood for your show. Consider implying the presence of blood through various other means, use a silk scarf as others have mentioned, use lighting effects, paint some nude nylons and pull them on like gloves . . . something other than fake blood. Fake blood is too much like glitter, but only in the worst of ways. It will get absolutely everywhere, and twelve years from opening night you will still be finding it. However, if you still feel you need the crimson effect . . . try Kryolan's 2-part Magic Blood Powder, or Graftobian's Magic Blood Powder.
    Best of luck!

    Matthew Copley
    Drama Teacher
    Tucson AZ