Branagh to close film company

Kenneth Branagh has decided to close his Renaissance film and theatre production company after seven years, it was disclosed yesterday.

The Renaissance name will be retained in case he and his co-founder, David Parfitt, decide to try to resurrect it, but for the moment there will be no more productions.

The final Renaissance production is King Lear, with Sir John Gielgud, which is already recorded and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 next month.

Mr Parfitt said: 'Renaissance was never permanent. When we started we only planned for an 18-month season. We have talked about various ways of continuing, even about Renaissance becoming a charitable trust, but nothing seemed to come together.'

The film company will continue to operate for the time being to deal with the income from Much Ado About Nothing and Peter's Friends.

It began in 1987 when Branagh and Parfitt amazed the entertainment establishment by starting the project when both still in their 20s.

The highlight was Branagh's film version of Henry V, in 1989.

Branagh is working on Frankenstein while Parfitt is to produce the film version of Alan Bennett's play, The Madness Of George III.

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