Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Kenneth Branagh: Why I can’t wait to play MancBeth (But don't mention the name of THAT play...) (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS)

The Hollywood director speaks of his delight to be coming back to Manchester for the International Festival, and how he's spent his whole career avoiding Shakespeare's evil king

Hollywood director Sir Kenneth Branagh has spoken of his delight to be coming back to the city where he ‘came of age’ as an actor to star in Macbeth at the Manchester International Festival.

Branagh cut his teeth at the Palace Theatre 25 years ago, and despite playing many great characters since, he revealed that he had spent his whole career avoiding playing Shakespeare’s evil king.

“It’s the one play by Shakespeare that follows me everywhere,” he said at the programme announcement for the fourth biennial festival, which takes place across Manchester from July 4 - 24.

“The Scottish play, and I’m still too superstitious to say the name, is the one I’ve thought and thought about, always circling around it, but didn’t know what to do with it.”

The play will be performed at a still-to-revealed deconsecrated church in ‘central Manchester’, and the cast have begun rehearsals.

Branagh announced that because the show’s £65 tickets sold out in minutes,  the final performance will be shown live on a screen in a city car park to make it open and affordable for everyone to see. Tickets will be priced £8.

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