LIKE many Scots, I have been hardwired to list the numerous inventions and innovations that Scotland has given to the world, the telephone, the television, penicillin, we can recite them like poetry.

It is a poem I receipt with mixed ­emotions, a dep-seated national pride which also ­harbours an insecurity, that we have to prove ourselves to the outside world.

Periodically, I like to flip the game around and ask a different question – what have famous English pioneers given to Scotland. For me there is one towering answer, more important than Jethro Tull’s seed drill or Tim Berners-Lee’s world wide web.

I am a lifelong fan of a short but ­towering work of genius steeped in Scottshness, ­William Shakespeare’s The Tragedie of Macbeth.

Macbeth is not only one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, but it is a unique advert, ­performed daily somewhere around the world, promoting Scotland and its ­landscape in all its dramatic wonder: sweeping forests, supernatural legends, and dark brooding castles.

It is the play that Visit Scotland would have written if they could operate a quill.

For all its historic inconsistencies, I ­confess I am a Macbeth bore and so ­anyone who can trace their ancestry back to Banquo’s ghost should stop reading now.

My fascination with Macbeth began in primary school when I realised that the landscape within which Shakespeare set his play could be seen from my bedroom window. My walk to school took me along Birnam Crescent and down Dunsinane Drive and the darkness of Macbeth’s world seemed to hang like guilt over Tweedsmuir and the old Rannoch Road.

Like a Harry Potter fan waiting on ­platform 9½ for the train to Hogwarts, I am excited to the point of delirium about seeing the latest iteration of the Scottish play, Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of ­Macbeth which opened to rave reviews at this year’s New York Film Festival. The ­casting is from the very top drawer, ­featuring ­Denzel Washington as the Thane of Cawdor and Frances ­McDormand as his ­ruthlessly ambitious wife.

I have already watched the stunning trailer on repeat and ploughed through production stills, online reviews, and my expectations are sky high.

There are so many reasons to love ­Macbeth. The play has haunted the very psyche of live theatre. It is a name you must never mention aloud inside a ­playhouse in case it brings bad luck and brings a curse down on the cast. The words you are allowed to say are ­simply “The Scottish Play” a global theatre ­tradition that places Scotland on the lips of every serious actor in the world.

The National: American filmmakers Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, known as the Coen BrothersAmerican filmmakers Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, known as the Coen Brothers

Before Coen’s The Tragedy of ­Macbeth opened this year’s New York Film ­Festival, the director confessed that the cast and crew had gone into the ­Shakespeare ­adaptation scornful of the old ­superstition that mentioning the play by name would bring on disaster.

Then Covid came charging through rehearsals, their production ground to a halt and some cast members fell ill. When they regrouped the cast, chastened by their experience agreed only to use the generic term The Tragedy and to the main characters as “the Thane of Cawdor and his wife.”

Superstition proved more powerful than rational discourse.

Like so many of Shakespeare’s great tragedies Macbeth has handed down ­language rich in allegory that has ­survived to the present day – “the milk of human kindness”, “tears shall drown the wind”, and “out damn spot” are among the many phrases that speak to the play’s complex inner morality.

There are many potential routes through the forest of interpretation, there is the powerful and foreboding presence of women, among them the three witches and the commandeering Lady Macbeth. But it is also a psychoanalyst’s dream, the uneasy sleep, the unruly nights, the ­nightmarish visions, Banquo’s ghost, death’s counterfeit and all the troubled tomorrows.

It is a play so rich in interpretation it could be Scotland itself.

There is yet another reason for my ­fascination. The uniqueness of our ­history. Macbeth is the most famous ­drama from the years of Scottish ­independence, ­centuries before the Union, when witches clung eerily to the undergrowth and ­camouflaged armies marched across dark terrain.

Nobody emerged from the shadows to deliver GERS figures and you could use a ryal, a bawbee or a groat free from ­condescension or the need for a central bank.

Like the Twa Corbies that “hid behint yon auld fail dyke” there is something ­macabre and sinister about Macbeth’s Scotland, a place where wonder and ­darkness coexist.

THE casting of Coen’s version is exceptional. The formidable presence of Coen’s wife, Frances McDormand, and an academy award winner for Best Actress for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Montana adds gravitas to literally every scene she appears in. She is much more than counterweight for Denzel Washington and seems a conspiratorial presence even when she is not speaking.

The online culture magazine, Vulture describes Washington as if he was born to play Macbeth. “Washington manages the near-impossible feat of delivering his lines as though he’s putting the words together in the moment, speaking some of the most famous sentences in the English language as though they’re being dredged up out of Macbeth’s roiling consciousness,” critic Allison Willmore writes. “When he kills King Duncan under his own roof, coming to the man in the night and stabbing him in bed, the haunted stillness on his face attests to a man arriving at a new understanding of his own dark capabilities.”

What is outstanding about Macbeth is its sheer adaptability relevant across so many societies from remote Scotland to the venal and careerist banking system of Canary Wharf.

Macbeth has found political and ­cultural expression around the world. ­Japan has devised two of the most ­memorable versions, Yukio Ninagawa’s stage production first premiered at the Nissei Theatre in Tokyo in 1980 earned the nickname, the “Kabuki Macbeth” and had as its creative centrepiece a visually striking Buddhist altar.

A film adaptation known as Throne Of Blood directed by Akira Kurosawa, sets the tale of Macbeth within the world of the Samurai.

Denzel Washington’s starring role as the troubled Scottish king has shone a torch on another famous adaptation, the landmark Voodoo Macbeth a nickname for the US Federal Theatre Project’s 1936 New York production.

A young Orson Welles adapted and ­directed the production, moved the play’s setting from Scotland to a fictional ­Caribbean island, presumed to be Haiti.

The 20-year-old Orson Welles ­recruited an entirely black cast, and used the ­imagery of Haitian vodou to take on the eerie supernatural role of Scottish ­witchcraft.

The all-black production became a box office sensation, which toured segregated America, and is now regarded as a ­landmark event in American theatre.

I can see the significance of the Prince of Denmark and The Merchant of ­Venice’s contractual disputes with Shylock the

Jew but neither reaches the dark ­deceptions of Birnam Wood as it marches to Dunsinane

Along with whisky and episodes of ­Outlander, Shakespeare’s Macbeth is one of our greatest exports. Denzel ­Washington has played his part; all we need now is Brain Cox to walk from ­Succession and pick up his dagger.

“Confusion now hath made his ­masterpiece.”