Updated: Saturday, 18th November 2017 @ 8:06am

Sold out: Kenneth Branagh's Shakespeare return at Manchester International Festival is city's hottest ticket

Sold out: Kenneth Branagh's Shakespeare return at Manchester International Festival is city's hottest ticket

By Andrew Bardsley

Tickets for Macbeth starring Kenneth Branagh and performances by The xx at the Manchester International Festival were snapped up in just minutes yesterday morning.

Festival bosses experienced unprecedented demand for the bi-annual event, which runs from July 4 -21 this year.

Branagh – who starred as Isambard Kingdom Brunel at last summer’s Olympic opening ceremony – last performed Shakespeare at the Sheffield Crucible where he played Richard III in 2002.

An MIF spokesperson told MM: “Tickets went on general sale at 10am this morning and sold very fast, particularly for Macbeth and The xx In Residence, which both had limited capacity.

“These two events have sold out faster than events at previous festivals.

The xx will play 18 shows throughout the festival, and will take over ‘an enigmatic found space in the centre of the city’, according to the MIF website.

Branagh will take to the stage for 14 airings of Macbeth, and he will direct alongside Oliver Award winning director Rob Ashford in an as yet unknown city centre location.

Tickets for the Massive Attack v Adam Curtis event are still available, and the full Festival programme will be announced on 28 February.

Picture courtesy of Giorgia Meschini, with thanks.