Kenneth Branagh’s return to Shakespeare after more than a decade, featuring Alex Kingston as Lady Macbeth, was a knockout. His interpretation of Macbeth as a good man declining into desolation and despair was exhilarating. Audiences sat inches from the action as sparks actually flew in the heat of battle. Blood, mud, fire and rain filled the space – Hallé St Peter’s, an intimate deconsecrated church in Ancoats. Never before used as a theatre, the space itself also took a starring role.

On the last Saturday of the Festival, more than 5,000 people brought chairs, cushions and picnics to enjoy a live outdoor relay of MACBETH, presented in a central Manchester car park kindly provided by NCP. Tens of thousands more watched in cinemas around the UK and beyond via National Theatre (NT) Live.

‘Fast, furious and unstoppable, time keeps rushing forward in this Macbeth, knocking the breath out of everyone, audience included’ The New York Times


Commissioned by Manchester International Festival and Park Avenue Armory. Produced by Manchester International Festival.

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