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Kenneth Branagh’s Macbeth programmed for Manchester International Festival

Kenneth Branagh. Photo: Blake Gardner
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Manchester International Festival 2013 is set to feature a production of Macbeth starring and co-directed by Kenneth Branagh.

The piece will be staged in a deconsecrated church for a total of 17 performances.

Also directing the Shakespeare production will be Rob Ashford, whose recent work includes West End show Shrek the Musical.

Dates and casting have yet to be announced.

The 18-day event, which will take place from July 4 to 21, 2013 and is now in its fourth year, will also include a performance from music band The xx as well as a series of food experiments in an old factory.

The full programme for MIF13 will be announced in February 2013.

Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said: “Manchester International Festival has now established itself on the world’s cultural stage and as the first details of the fourth festival are revealed it’s clear that the festival has lost none of its appeal, creativity or edge. There’s no other festival in the world which on the one hand could attract a star of the calibre of Sir Kenneth Branagh while on the other transform an old warehouse into a community farm.

“But MIF is so much more than just a festival – it generates millions of pounds for the local economy, attracts visitors from across the world, builds the city’s global reputation as a powerhouse for the arts. And we can now say with confidence that it leaves a lasting legacy.”