Kenneth Branagh co-directs and stars in this performance of Shakespeare's tragedy in a deconsecrated church as part of the Manchester International Festival. Branagh portrays the title character with Alex Kingston as his wife Lady Macbeth. Army general Macbeth is rewarded well for his exploits in battle by King Duncan (John Shrapnel), but the prophecy of three witches makes him lust for further glory. Encouraged by Lady Macbeth, he secretly kills Duncan, seizing the throne for himself. However, Macbeth's new-found power is soured by guilt over his bloody deed, and further murders follow as he attempts to cover his tracks.