Celebrated Yorkshire company Northern Broadsides tonight launches its spring tour, a new production of Macbeth. The distinctly Northern take on Shakespeare's bloodiest play opens at the company's Halifax Viaduct home back where it runs until 23 March, before continuing to ten further venues up to 1 June 2002.

Directed by the Northern Broadsides' artistic director Barrie Rutter, winner of the Creative Britons 2000 award, Macbeth will be performed by a full cast of 15 in the company's characteristically fast-paced and robust performance style. The production is designed by Jessica Worrall.

Over the past decade, Northern Broadsides has built a reputation for challenging the dominant theatrical aesthetic of 'received pronunciation' by using Northern actors who speak the classics in their natural voices. The award-winning company has performed across the UK as well as in Europe, the United States, Brazil and India.

Its previous productions have included Alcestis, The Mysteries, Richard III, King John and last autumn's double bill tour of Sophocles' Oedipus with the 19th-century Yorkshire farce The Cracked Pot.

Following Halifax, Macbeth will visit Wellingborough, Skipton, Scarborough, Leeds, Salford, Bury St Edmunds, Liverpool, Bradford and Stoke.

- by Terri Paddock