Immersive Production of Macbeth, With Kenneth Branagh, Begins May 31 at Park Avenue Armory
Playbill, 31 May 2014
The Park Avenue Armory's immersive production of 'Macbeth', starring Kenneth Branagh, begins performances May 31 in the Armory's expansive Wade Thompson Drill Hall.
Directed by Branagh and Tony winner Rob Ashford ('Thoroughly Modern Millie', 'How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying'), the immersive staging of William Shakespeare's tragedy officially opens June 5.
The production stars five-time Academy Award nominee Branagh ("Hamlet," "My Week with Marilyn") as the ambitious Thane of Cawdor and Alex Kingston ("Doctor Who," "Arrow") as Lady Macbeth, both making their New York stage debuts.
The production was originally mounted in Manchester, and the majority of the cast reprise their roles, with the additions of Richard Coyle ('Proof', Donmar Warehouse) as Macduff; Scarlett Strallen ('Merry Wives of Windsor', Royal Shakespeare Company) as Lady Macduff; Tom Godwin ('The Taming of the Shrew', Globe) as Porter; Edward Harrison ('Henry V', West End) as Lennox; Dylan Clark Marshall ('Revolutionary Road'); Zachary Spicer ('Wit', Manhattan Theatre Club); and Kate Tydman ('Kiss Me, Kate'; Old Vic) as a Swing.
Completing the cast are David Annen, Andy Apollo, Elliot Balchin, Nari Blair-Mangat, Norman Bowman, Charlie Cameron, Jordan Dean, Patrick Neil Doyle, Laura Elsworthy, Cody Green, Stuart Neal, John Shrapnel, Harry Lister Smith, Dominic Thorburn, Anjana Vasan, Alexander Vlahos, Katie West, Benny Young and Jimmy Yuill.
Here's how the production is billed: "This staging of 'Macbeth' transforms the Armory and its 55,000-square-foot drill hall, taking advantage of the building's unique spaces and military history to bring to life one of Shakespeare's most powerful tragedies in an intensely physical, fast-paced production that places the audience directly on the frontlines of battle. The audience will be drawn into the blood, sweat, and elements of nature as the action unfurls across a traverse stage, with heaven beckoning at one end and hell looming at the other."
"Under the visionary direction of Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford, we are so looking forward to having this extraordinary company and creative team bring this monumental Macbeth to life in our soaring drill hall and historic period rooms," Rebecca Robertson, president and executive producer of Park Avenue Armory, said in a previous statement. "Audiences come to the Armory expecting the unexpected, and Macbeth will surely be no exception to that rule."
The creative team for Macbeth includes set and costume designer Christopher Oram, lighting designer Neil Austin and sound designer Christopher Shutt. The production features compositions by Patrick Doyle. Terry King is fight director, Carol Hemming is hair and make-up consultant, Paul Kieve is illusion consultant, Lee Newby is associate designer, and Chris Bailey is associate choreographer. Rupert Cross is music programmer, Russell Jackson is text advisor and Anne McNulty is casting director. Additional New York casting is by Telsey + Company.
In addition to the public performances, the Park Avenue Armory will present a special matinee performance of Macbeth June 11 for New York City public middle and high school students from all five boroughs who participate in the Armory's arts education programs.
The Armory is making available a limited number of $19 rush tickets for each performance. These tickets are available for in-person purchase at Park Avenue Armory on the day of every performance, beginning at 4 PM for evening shows and 11 AM for matinees. There is a limit of one ticket per person, and regular facility fees apply.