Play of the week: Macbeth, St Peter's Church, Ancoats, Manchester

 

Kenneth Branagh delivers his first live Shakespeare performance in 11 years in a deconsecrated Victorian church as part of the Manchester International Festival.

It's a shrewd move, playing on the sense of violation and sacrilege that comes from staging Macbeth in a church. The altar end is ablaze with candles and the wild young witches appear like writhing perversions of the statues of saints.

Alex Kingston is an impressive Lady Macbeth and Branagh brings a terrific intensity of apprehension to the lead in a production that hurtles forward with just the right unstoppable momentum for a tragedy in which "what's done cannot be undone".

0844 375 2013, to 20 July

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