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Wednesday August 21, 2013 MYT 1:45:00 PM
Wednesday August 21, 2013 MYT 1:59:48 PM
by brent lang
Kenneth Branagh is taking a break from directing big-budget movies and work on reviving his stage career, this time with a performance of 'Macbeth'.
Kenneth Branagh to make NYC stage debut with ‘Macbeth’.
British actor Kenneth Branagh will make his New York stage debut next June when he brings his acclaimed take on William Shakespeare’s Macbeth to the state.
However, the Oscar-nominee will not be appearing on Broadway. Instead, he plans to stage his version of the “Scottish play” at the Park Avenue Armory.
Joining him in all the palace intrigue will be Alex Kingston (ER) as Lady Macbeth. The pair starred in a critically heralded revival of the dark tragedy that was staged at the Manchester International Festival in Britain this summer. The show was performed at St Peter’s Church, with the audience sitting on wooden benches giving them a front row seat to the carnage and elemental forces like rain and fire.
It marked Branagh’s first stage performance of a work by the Bard in more than a decade. His return to the playwright who helped make him an international star in films like 1989’s Henry V was appreciated.
In the New York Times, Ben Brantley hailed Branagh’s take on the role and praised the shows lean and mean pacing.
“Fast, furious and unstoppable, time keeps rushing forward in this Macbeth, knocking the breath out of everyone, audience included,” Brantley wrote.
Though theatrical legend holds that Macbeth is cursed – with some actors refusing to even utter its title while inside a theatre – the show has proved enormously popular in recent years.
Alan Cummings recently headlined a one-man take on the play that was well-received and Ethan Hawke is planning to star in a revival this fall. Park Avenue Armory said additional casting and performance dates will be announced in the coming months. — Reuters
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