Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh has pledged to help raise money for a concert venue where he recently starred as Macbeth by becoming its campaign patron.

The production, which he starred in an co-directed, ran from 5 to 20 July at Hallé St Peter's as part of the Manchester International Festival and was streamed live to over 250 cinemas by National Theatre Live.

"I am thrilled to have discovered Hallé St Peter's, a hidden gem which has been lovingly restored into a permanent home for the orchestra, its ensembles and education department," Branagh said.

"I am fully in support of the next phase of the project, which will give the Hallé much needed versatility and allow them to engage even more with the community and carry out a greater breadth of work."

Hallé St Peter’s
Hallé St Peter’s
Hallé St Peter's, a run-down church recently taken over by Hallé orchestra and transformed into a concert venue, opened in June 2013 in Ancoats, Manchester, after an initial fundraising campaign to refurbish the building.

The latest campaign, backed by Branagh and entitled Phase Two, is to fund an extension of the building to include a community education workshop, a green room, public cafeteria, offices and a box office.

Branagh's Macbeth was the first production to be staged in the venue and the new campaign is also intended to enable Hallé orchestra to perform additional concerts.

Kath Russell, development director of Hallé, said: "We are delighted that Kenneth enjoyed his time working in Hallé St Peter's and has offered his support to Phase Two. His help is greatly appreciated for what will be a challenging, but we hope rewarding, fundraising campaign".

- Louise Miles