For MIF13, Kenneth Branagh returns to the stage as Macbeth, for his first Shakespeare performance after more than a decade.
Directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, this tragic tale of ambition and treachery unfolds within the walls of an intimate deconsecrated Manchester church.
Kenneth Branagh has long been lauded as one of the great Shakespearean interpreters. His skills as a writer, director and actor have garnered international acclaim across the disciplines of stage, film and television, and he is the only man to be nominated in five different categories for an Academy Award. He last performed Shakespeare when he played Richard III at the Sheffield Crucible in 2002. Recent stage performances as Edmund at the National Theatre and Ivanov for the Donmar played to great acclaim. In 2011 he completed a sell-out run of the hit comedy The Painkiller at the Lyric Theatre in his home city of Belfast.
Alex Kingston co-stars as Lady Macbeth. Kingston, who won critical acclaim in the title role of the PBS miniseries “Moll Flanders,” joined television’s top-rated, “ER” during its fourth season, as the spirited surgeon ‘Dr. Elizabeth Corday.’ She also reprised her role on “ER” along with the rest of the original cast, for the final episodes of the series. Kingston starred in “Hope Springs,” a new series on BBC One,” as well as the ITV mini-series “Lost in Austen.” She has also been seen on the highly successful British series “Dr. Who” and was in the independent film “Like Crazy.”
Rob Ashford has directed and choreographed productions on both sides of the Atlantic. From collaborations with the Donmar Warehouse and National Theatre, to Broadway, Ashford has a string of nominations and awards to his name including an Olivier Award for Anna Christie and nominations for A Streetcar Named Desire and Parade (Donmar Warehouse) and a Tony Award for Thoroughly Modern Millie and nominations for productions including Evita and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He also won an Emmy for his choreography at the 81st Annual Academy Awards.
Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh
First Weird Sister
Patrick Neil Doyle
Second Weird Sister
Harry Lister Smith
Lily Livered Servant / Second Murderer
Third Weird Sister
Anne McNulty CDG
Chris Marcus and Jonathan Hall
Commissioned by Manchester International Festival and Park Avenue Armory.
Produced by Manchester International Festival.