Shakespeare’s Macbeth seems to have quite a few admirers as it has been staged all over the New York stages recently. One can now add Sir Kenneth Branagh to the list of those who will tackle on one of the Bard’s most dramatic plays as the veteran thespian will make his New York stage debut in a production of Macbeth next year.
Branagh will bring his version of the Shakespeare play, staged at the Manchester International Festival recently, to an army base in June at the Park Avenue Armory. This will be Branagh’s first foray into the New York theater scene, which may come as a surprise to most, considering Branagh is one of Britain’s most lauded classical actors and has directed or starred in several Shakespeare adaptations for the screen.
Branagh’s production follows Alan Cumming’s radical one-man retake on the classic tragedy on Broadway this past spring, and Ethan Hawke’s upcoming production as he set to tackle the title role in another Broadway staging for Lincoln Center. The production featuring Branagh is co-directed with Rob Ashford and also stars Alex Kingston (ER and Doctor Who) as Lady Macbeth.
Branagh has received high praise from the critics for his version of the classic tragedy, which saw him perform the title role for the first time and seems quite enthused about taking it to the New York stage. ”I am delighted that we have the chance to recreate Macbeth in this epic setting,” Branagh said.
The production will feature set and costume designs by Christopher Oram, lighting by Neil Austin, music by Patrick Doyle and sound by Christopher Shutt. Performance dates and additional cast for the U.S. run have yet to be announced.
Branagh will next been seen on the big screen as both the director and the villain in the latest adaptation of the Jack Ryan novels by Tom Clancy in December when the film Jack Ryan hits theaters.