Sir Kenneth Branagh wins awards with "Scottish play"

Kenneth Branagh, who has stirred audiences with his portrayals of such diverse characters as Henry V and Gilderoy Lockhart, has won over ciritcs in a new version of Shakespeare's Macbeth, which garnered three prizes at the Manchester Theatre Awards.

For the 2013 Manchester International Festival, the play was "staged in an old church and featured a mud-strewn set and full-blooded battle scenes." Branagh took best actor as Macbeth and Ray Fearon best supporting actor as Macduff, while the play also took best production. "In Manchester, from the moment we pelted our dear patrons with rain, mud and blood, we felt their complete (and literal) immersion in the experience," said Branagh.