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Kenneth Branagh to Star in MACBETH at Manchester International Festival, July 2013; Rob Ashford Directs

According to the Daily Mail, Sir Kenneth Branagh will play MacBeth in Shakespeare's tragedy at the Manchester International Festival next summer, which runs July 4-21, 2013. Rob Ashford is set to direct.

The Mail reports that a member of the artistic team at the Royal Exchange in Manchester said it will be "unusual" to stage a Shakespeare play at the festival but that "perhaps Branagh has a revolutionary take on it."

Read the original report here

Director Ashford is known for his work on productions such as A Streetcar Named Desire at Donmar Warehouse and Anna Christie, starring Jude Law and Ruth Wilson.

Branagh, who was just knighted at Buckingham Palace today for his services to drama and the Northern Ireland community, was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn.

Celebrated Shakespeare actor, Branagh appeared in Renaissance Theatre Company's Hamlet in 1988, played opposite Emma Thompson in Renaissance's Look Back in Anger, and later as Richard III in a Sheffield production. He starred in the Royal National Theatre's Edmond and directed The Play What I Wrote for Broadway in 2003. In 2008, Branagh appeared in the West End's Ivanov revival. Branagh has also appeared on television in the series Wallander, and in many film adaptations of Shakespeare's plays.

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