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Kenneth Branagh Returns to the Stage in 'Macbeth'

The classic Shakespeare play will be performed in a deconsecrated church as part of the Manchester International Festival.

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After more than a decade, Kenneth Branagh is returning to his Shakespearean roots.

Branagh will star in and co-direct a production of Macbeth for the Manchester International Festival in 2013. He will share directorial duties with Rob Ashford.

STORY: Kenneth Branagh's 'Jack Ryan' to Hit Theaters Christmas Day 2013

The classic play about the Scottish general Macbeth (Branagh) whose thirst for power and ambition leads to madness and ultimately death, will be staged in a deconsecrated church for 17 performances. Aside from Branagh, other casting notices have yet to be announced.

Branagh's last Shakespeare performance was as the title character in Richard III in 2002.

"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," said Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council's executive member for culture and leisure, in a statement. "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 food project."

The Manchester International Festival will take place July 4-21, 2013.

Branagh's next directorial feature film, Jack Ryan, starring Chris Pine, will be released on Christmas 2013.

For more information on the Manchester International Festival, click here.

Email: Joshua.Stecker@thr.com; Twitter: @joshuastecker

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