Down on his luck in the suburbs, John Falstaff plans to hustle his way to a comfortable retirement by seducing the wives of two wealthy men.
Unknown to him, it’s the women of Windsor who really pull the strings, orchestrating Falstaff’s comeuppance amidst a theatrical smorgasbord of petty rivalries, jealousies and over-inflated egos.
For a fat Englishman, a Welshman and a Frenchman, the only way is Windsor…
National Theatre Live: Julie
by Polly Stenham
Vanessa Kirby (The Crown, NT Live: A Streetcar Named Desire) and Eric Kofi Abrefa (The Amen Corner)feature in the cast of this brand new production, directed by Carrie Cracknell (NT Live: The Deep Blue Sea) and broadcast live from the National Theatre to cinemas.
Wild and newly single, Julie throws a late night party. In the kitchen,Jean and Kristina clean up as the celebration heaves above them. Crossing the threshold, Julie initiates a power game with Jean – which rapidly descends intoa savage fight for survival.
This new version of August Strindberg’s play Miss Julie, written by Polly Stenham, remains shocking and fiercelyr elevant in its new setting of contemporary London.
National Theatre Live : KingLear
By William Shakespeare
★★★★★‘Ian McKellen reigns supreme in this triumphant production.’ (Daily Telegraph)
Broadcast live from London’s West End,see Ian McKellen’s ‘extraordinarily moving portrayal’ (Independent) of King Lear in cinemas.
Chichester Festival Theatre’s production received five-star reviews for its sell-out run, and transfers to the West End for a limited season. Jonathan Munby directs this ‘nuanced and powerful’ (TheTimes) contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s tender, violent, moving and shocking play.
Considered by many to be the greatest tragedy ever written, King Lear sees two ageing fathers – one a King, one his courtier – reject the children who truly love them. Their blindness unleashes a tornado of pitiless ambition and treachery, as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with bitter ends.
Dangerous desires,family secrets and political intrigues twist through every moment of daring
Mayerling is a classic of the Royal Ballet repertory, with its emotional depth, haunting imagery, and one of the most demanding roles ever created for a male dancer. Kenneth MacMillan choreographed a complex work around the psychologically tormented heir to the Habsburg Empire, Crown Prince Rudolf. From the ballet’s start, the glamour of the Austro-Hungarian court is contrasted with undercurrents of sexual and political intrigue that drive the story to its violent climax in a double suicide. The large cast allows for impressive ensembles in addition to the ballet's many solos of distinctive character and pas de deux of disturbing eroticism. This ballet, bursting with intensity, madness and passion, proves that sometimes the truth is more scandalous than fiction.
Approximate running time: 3 hours 15 minutes, including two intervals
Natalia Makarova’s production of this 19th-century classic ballet brings an exotic world of temple dancers and noble warriors to life.
Marius Petipa’s fantasy, set in legendary India, tells the tale of a temple dancer and the prince who loves her but marries another.The famous, moonlit ‘white act’ – The Kingdom of the Shades – is a corps de ballet highlight,as multiple images of the prince’s lost love haunt his mind. The choreography allows two opposing ballerinas to shine, while a bronze idol comes vividly tolife in a stunning solo. Throughout, the melody and moods of Minkus’s music perfectly match the fluidity and precision of the classical choreography and the drama of the storytelling.
Approximate Running Time: 3 Hours 5 Minutes, Including Two Intervals
The Madness of George III
by Alan Bennett
Multi-award-winning drama The Madness of George III will be broadcast live to cinemas, in National Theatre Live’s first ever broadcast from Nottingham Playhouse.
Written by one of Britain’s best-loved playwrights Alan Bennett (The History Boys, The Lady in the Van), this epic play was also adapted into a BAFTA Award-winning film following its premiere on stage in 1991.
The cast of this new production includes Olivier Award-winners Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Wolf Hall, NT Live Coriolanus)in the title role, and Adrian Scarborough (Gavin and Stacey, Upstairs Downstairs, After the Dance).
It’s 1786 and King George III is the most powerful man in the world. But his behaviour is becoming increasingly erratic as he succumbs to fits of lunacy. With the King’s mind unravelling at a dramatic pace, ambitious politicians and the scheming Prince of Wales threaten to undermine the power of the Crown, and expose the fine line between a King and a man.
A Christmas treat for the whole family and a classic with a special place in the hearts of ballet fans around the world.
The Nutcracker has long been one of the most delightful ways to discover the enchantment of ballet – and makes for a delicious seasonal treat for all the family. Tchaikovsky’s much-loved music is matched to a magical adventure on Christmas Eve for Clara and her Nutcracker doll. Their journey to the Land of Sweets brings with it some of the most familiar of all ballet moments, such as the Dance of the Sugar PlumFairy and the Waltz of the Flowers. Peter Wright’s production for The Royal Ballet keeps true to the spirit of this Russian ballet classic, with period details and dancing snowflakes. The many solo roles and ensembles put the world-class skills of the Company to the fore in this Christmas classic.
APPROXIMATE RUNNING TIME: 2 HOURS 30 MINUTES, INCLUDING ONE INTERVAL
In Tchaikovsky’s intense opera of obsession and the supernatural, Gherman is caught between the woman he loves and a destructive fixation. The Queen of Spades is based on a short story by Pushkin, and comes to the Royal Opera House in a new production that has already garnered five star reviews in Amsterdam. The production is set in 1890, the year of the opera’s premiere.In his study, Tchaikovsky imagines the opera into life as his own story, its characters giving voice to his unfulfilled desires. Aleksandrs Antonenko and Eva-Maria Westbroek head the cast and Royal Opera Chorus, conducted by Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera. This is an engrossing portrayal of a tortured creative artist and a gripping piece of gothic storytelling.
From the thrill of unexpected romance to a heartbreaking reconciliation that comes too late – Verdi’s La traviata is one of the most popular of all operas. Alfredo falls in love in with the courtesan Violetta in glamorous Paris society, but underneath the surface run darker undercurrents, leading to a tragic ending. The opera’s wealth of melodies includes the famous Brindisi and the exuberant ‘Sempre libera’ – both showing the lyricism of Italian opera at its most immediately appealing.
Richard Eyre’s production for The Royal Opera brings out all the emotional colour, from the giddy discovery of love, through painful confrontation to the inevitable conclusion.Lavish period sets and costumes enhance the reality of a moving story based on true life.
APPROXIMATE RUNNING TIME: 3 HOURS 35 MINUTES, INCLUDING TWO INTERVALS | SUNG IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SURTITLES
Cervantes’s story of the bumbling knight Don Quixote has inspired countless artistic interpretations. Marius Petipa choreographed this sparkling ballet about the encounters of the man from La Mancha and his faithful squire Sancho Panza. At its heart are virtuoso roles for the lovers Basilio and Kitri. Carlos Acosta chose this joyful classic for his first production for The Royal Ballet. His vibrant staging brings together the whole Company in such roles as exuberant villagers, passionate gypsies and even fantasy flowers. The story follows Don Quixote’s picaresque journey to do deeds in honourof his imaginary noble lady, Dulcinea. Sunny,charming, funny and touching – Don Quixote is a ballet as full of uplifting emotion as it is of astonishing ballet technique.
Leonora falls in love with Don Alvaro, but when her father forbids their marriage, a fatal accident triggers a drama of obsession, vengeance and tragedy. Jonas Kaufmann and Anna Netrebko star in Verdi’s epic La forza del destino (The Force of Destiny) an opera which demands the very best of singers for its powerful music and the fullesttheatrical treatment for its story of bitter revenge pursued across miles and years. The production comes to The Royal Operain a sensational staging from Amsterdam packed with colour and action. It is directed by Christof Loy and conducted by Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera.
There are many versions of the story of Faust, who trades his soul with the Devil for youth and power, but Gounod’s opera remains one of the most constantly enthralling. Michael Fabiano stars as Faust, with Diana Damrau as his beloved Marguerite and Erwin Schrott as the diabolical Méphistophélès.Virtuoso leading roles, a large chorus, sensational sets, ballet and anecstatic finale make this the epitome of theatrical spectacle – the lavish scale of French grand opera is wonderfully in evidence in this production by David McVicar, set in 1870s Paris. Above all, the music includes several of popular opera’s most recognizable numbers, performed by a cast of great international singers and the Royal Opera Chorus.
TWO RECENT WORKS AND ONE WORLD PREMIERE SHOWCASE THE CONTEMPORARY FACE OF THE ROYAL BALLET.
The contemporary face of The Royal Ballet is shown in works from three of today’s leading choreographers. Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour is based around seven couples separating and intermingling, to music by Vivaldi and Bosso and lit with rich colours suggested by sunset.
Crystal Pite’sFlight Pattern, revived for the first time, uses a large dance ensemble and Górecki’s familiar music from his Symphony of Sorrowful Songs for a poignant and passionate reflection on migration.
Between them, a new work by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, created on behalf of The Royal Ballet has its premiere to bring the contemporary truly up-to-date.
Shakespeare’s enduring love story is known the world over.Since its 1965 premiere with The Royal Ballet, Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet has become a modern ballet classic. The choreography captures the emotions of the young couple as they fall in love, despite the barriers that finally bring about the story’s tragic end. Each revival gives opportunities for new dancers to interpret the doomed lovers. The whole Company brings the colour and action of Renaissance Verona, where a busy market all too quickly bursts into sword fighting, and a family feud leads to tragedy for both the Montagues and Capulets.