By Pia Catton
August 20, 2013
Kenneth Branagh will make his New York stage debut in June 2014, but don’t look for him on Broadway: His “Macbeth” is heading to the Upper East Side’s Park Avenue Armory.
The production originated in England at the Manchester International Festival, which co-commissioned the play with the Park Avenue Armory. Branagh starred as Macbeth and directed the play with Rob Ashford (“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”). Starring opposite Branagh in New York will be former Royal Shakespeare Company member Alex Kingston (“ER”) as Lady Macbeth.
In Manchester, the production took place in a deconsecrated church, with several parts of the space used. In New York, it will be adapted to the 55,000-square-foot drill hall, but is likely to replicate the runway stage and the intensity of the original. “The action happens so fast. The battles are right on top of you,” said Rebecca Robertson, president and executive producer of the Park Avenue Armory. “The production elements are simple, but it’s so stark and you just feel a part of it.”