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NT Live
Hamlet - Encore

Academy Award® nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock, The Imitation Game) takes on the title role of Hamlet in Shakespeare’s great tragedy. Now seen by over 750,000 people worldwide, the original 2015 NT Live broadcast returns to cinemas. As a country arms itself for war, a family tears itself apart. Forced to avenge his father’s death but paralysed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state. Directed by Lyndsey Turner (Posh, Chimerica) and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions.

Age Range: 12A

NT Live
Follies

Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical is staged for the first time at the National Theatre and broadcast live to cinemas. New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton play the magnificent Follies in this dazzling new production. Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, it’s directed by Dominic Cooke (The Comedy of Errors). Winner of Academy, Tony, Grammy and Olivier awards, Sondheim’s previous work includes A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George.

Age Range: 12A

NT Live
Follies encore

Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical is staged for the first time at the National Theatre and broadcast live to cinemas. New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton play the magnificent Follies in this dazzling new production. Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, it’s directed by Dominic Cooke (The Comedy of Errors). Winner of Academy, Tony, Grammy and Olivier awards, Sondheim’s previous work includes A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George.

NT Live
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof encore

Tennessee Williams’ twentieth century masterpiece Cat on a Hot Tin Roof played a strictly limited season in London’s West End in 2017. Following his smash hit production of A Streetcar Named Desire, Benedict Andrews’ ‘thrilling revival’ (New York Times) stars Sienna Miller alongside, Jack O’Connell and Colm Meaney. On a steamy night in Mississippi, a Southern family gather at their cotton plantation to celebrate Big Daddy’s birthday. The scorching heat is almost as oppressive as the lies they tell. Brick and Maggie dance round the secrets and sexual tensions that threaten to destroy their marriage. With the future of the family at stake, which version of the truth is real – and which will win out? ★★★★ "A bold reimagining…innovative and powerfully acted" Sunday Times ★★★★ "A brilliant, lacerating account of the play… unforgettable" The Independent ★★★★ "Miller and O’Connell get to a raw and naked truth" The Metro This is a recording of the Young Vic’s production captured during its successful run in the West End. The performance has been ‘Captured live in front of an audience’ rather than being a live broadcast.

Age Range: 15+

Royal Opera House
Tosca

Tosca is one of the great evenings of opera, and from its strident opening chords conjures up a world of political instability and menace.Jonathan Kent’s production for The Royal Opera captures the dangerous political turbulence of Rome in 1800. The Chief of Police, Scarpia – one of the most malevolent villains in opera – ruthlessly pursues and tortures enemies of the state. His dark, demonic music contrasts with the expansive melodies of the idealistic lovers, Tosca and Cavaradossi, who express their passion in sublime arias, including ‘Vissi d’arte’ and ‘E lucevan le stelle’. Giacomo Puccini’s dramatic work was a hit with audiences on its 1900 premiere and it remains one of the most performed of all operas – with its gripping plot and glorious music, it’s easy to see why.A candle-lit church, Scarpia’s gloomy study with its hidden torture chamber and the false optimism of a Roman dawn: this handsome production throws into relief the ruthlessly taut drama, as the tension is wound up towards a fateful conclusion. Puccini’s meticulously researched score is infused with the same authentic detail, from distant cannon fire during the Act I Te Deum to tolling church bells and the sounds of a firing squad.

Royal Opera House
Carmen ROH encore

Carmen is the best-known work by French composer Georges Bizet, and one of the most famous operas in the entire art form – numbers such as the Habanera and the Toreador Song have permeated the popular consciousness as little else has. The opera’s heady combination of passion, sensuality and violence initially proved too much for the stage, and it was a critical failure on its 1875 premiere. Bizet died shortly after, and never learned of the spectacular success his Carmen would achieve: the opera has been performed more than five hundred times at Covent Garden alone.This ever-popular opera is given a fresh point of view in Barrie Kosky’s highly physical production, originally created for Frankfurt Opera. The Australian director is one of the world’s most sought-after opera directors, whose Royal Opera debut with Shostakovich’s The Nose in 2016 was greeted with delight. For Carmen he has devised a far-from-traditional version, incorporating music written by Bizet for the score but not usually heard, and giving a new voice to the opera’s endlessly fascinating central character.

Royal Opera House
Carmen ROH

Carmen is the best-known work by French composer Georges Bizet, and one of the most famous operas in the entire art form – numbers such as the Habanera and the Toreador Song have permeated the popular consciousness as little else has. The opera’s heady combination of passion, sensuality and violence initially proved too much for the stage, and it was a critical failure on its 1875 premiere. Bizet died shortly after, and never learned of the spectacular success his Carmen would achieve: the opera has been performed more than five hundred times at Covent Garden alone.This ever-popular opera is given a fresh point of view in Barrie Kosky’s highly physical production, originally created for Frankfurt Opera. The Australian director is one of the world’s most sought-after opera directors, whose Royal Opera debut with Shostakovich’s The Nose in 2016 was greeted with delight. For Carmen he has devised a far-from-traditional version, incorporating music written by Bizet for the score but not usually heard, and giving a new voice to the opera’s endlessly fascinating central character.

Royal Opera House
Rigoletto

The corruption of innocence is at the heart of Verdi’s potent tragedy in David McVicar’s production for The Royal Opera. Rigoletto, court jester to the libertine Duke of Mantua, is cursed by the father of one of the Duke’s victims for his irreverent laughter. When the Duke seduces Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda, it seems the curse is taking effect...David McVicar’s production highlights the cruelty at the heart of the court of Mantua. Richly dressed courtiers engage in orgies and revelries to Verdi’s heady, spirited dances. The opera’s many musical highlights include the ebullient ‘La donna è mobile’, in which the Duke boasts of his disregard for women; Gilda’s exquisite, plangent duets with Rigoletto and the Duke; and the gorgeous Act III quartet that beautifully weaves the voices together as the story quickens to its shattering conclusion.Giuseppe Verdi wrote in 1855 that Rigoletto was his ‘best opera’. He had had to overcome state censorship to stage it – the censors objected to its depiction of an immoral ruler – but he was vindicated by the premiere’s huge success in 1851. Rigoletto was performed 250 times in the next 10 years and has remained one of the most popular of all operas.

Royal Opera House
La Bohéme encore

When Rodolfo, a penniless poet, meets Mimì, a seamstress, they fall instantly in love. But their happiness is threatened when Rodolfo learns that Mimì is gravely ill. Acclaimed director Richard Jones (Boris Godunov, Il trittico) directs a new production of Puccini’s La Bohème. Irresistible in its witty, passionate blend of comedy and tragedy, the opera focusses on the lives of a group of young artists as they eke out an existence on the bohemian fringes of Paris. Jones brings his characteristically acute insight to this much-loved classic, visualized in Stewart Laing’s spectacular setting. Puccini’s romantic depiction of bohemian Paris, with memorable music and a love story drawn from everyday life, has captivated audiences around the world, making La Bohème one of the best-loved of all operas. It was first performed in Covent Garden in 1897 and has had more than five hundred performances there since.

Royal Opera House
Rigoletto encore

The corruption of innocence is at the heart of Verdi’s potent tragedy in David McVicar’s production for The Royal Opera. Rigoletto, court jester to the libertine Duke of Mantua, is cursed by the father of one of the Duke’s victims for his irreverent laughter. When the Duke seduces Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda, it seems the curse is taking effect...David McVicar’s production highlights the cruelty at the heart of the court of Mantua. Richly dressed courtiers engage in orgies and revelries to Verdi’s heady, spirited dances. The opera’s many musical highlights include the ebullient ‘La donna è mobile’, in which the Duke boasts of his disregard for women; Gilda’s exquisite, plangent duets with Rigoletto and the Duke; and the gorgeous Act III quartet that beautifully weaves the voices together as the story quickens to its shattering conclusion.Giuseppe Verdi wrote in 1855 that Rigoletto was his ‘best opera’. He had had to overcome state censorship to stage it – the censors objected to its depiction of an immoral ruler – but he was vindicated by the premiere’s huge success in 1851. Rigoletto was performed 250 times in the next 10 years and has remained one of the most popular of all operas.

Royal Shakespeare Company
Coriolanus RSC

A full-throttle war play that revels in the sweat of the battlefield, Coriolanus transports us back to the emergence of the republic of Rome. Caius Martius Coriolanus is a fearless soldier but a reluctant leader. His ambitious mother attempts to carve him a path to political power, but he struggles to change his nature and do what is required to achieve greatness. In this new city state struggling to find its feet, where the gap between rich and poor is widening every day, Coriolanus must decide who he really is and where his allegiances lie. Rome Season Director, Angus Jackson, completes the Royal Shakespeare Company’s collection of Shakespeare’s Roman plays with a visceral production which sees Sope Dirisu (One Night in Miami, Donmar Warehouse, 2016) take on the title role.

Royal Shakespeare Company
Twelfth Night RSC

'I am all the daughters of my father's house, And all the brothers too.' Twelfth Night is a tale of unrequited love – hilarious and heartbreaking. Two twins are separated in a shipwreck, and forced to fend for themselves in a strange land. The first twin, Viola, falls in love with Orsino, who dotes on OIivia, who falls for Viola but is idolised by Malvolio. Enter Sebastian, who is the spitting image of his twin sister... Christopher Luscombe, Director of the ‘glorious’ (Daily Telegraph) Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing (2014 and 2016), returns to the Royal Shakespeare Company to tackle Shakespeare’s greatest comedy, a brilliantly bittersweet account of "the whirligig of time".

The Royal Ballet Live
The Nutcracker

Loosely based on a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, it opens with the Christmas festivities of little Clara and her family and progresses through a sequence of dreams and enchantments that take Clara on her magical journey to the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of the Sweets. Peter Wright’s enchanting production with its wondrously growing Christmas tree and a rousing battle between the villainous Mouse King and an army of toy soldiers, mines the colour of Tchaikovsky’s score, retaining exquisite surviving fragments of the original Ivanov choreography, including the beautiful pas de deux for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.

Age Range: 12A

The Royal Ballet Live
The Nutcracker - ENCORE

Loosely based on a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, it opens with the Christmas festivities of little Clara and her family and progresses through a sequence of dreams and enchantments that take Clara on her magical journey to the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of the Sweets. Peter Wright’s enchanting production with its wondrously growing Christmas tree and a rousing battle between the villainous Mouse King and an army of toy soldiers, mines the colour of Tchaikovsky’s score, retaining exquisite surviving fragments of the original Ivanov choreography, including the beautiful pas de deux for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.

The Royal Ballet Live
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (ballet)

At a garden party on a sunny afternoon, Alice is surprised to see her parents’ friend Lewis Carroll transform into a white rabbit. When she follows him down a rabbit hole events become curiouser and curiouser... As Alice journeys through Wonderland, she encounters countless strange creatures. She’s swept off her feet by the charming Knave of Hearts, who’s on the run for stealing the tarts. Confusion piles upon confusion. Then Alice wakes with a start. Was it all a daydream? Christopher Wheeldon's Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland burst onto the stage in 2011 in an explosion of colour, stage magic and inventive, sophisticated choreography. Joby Talbot’s score combines contemporary soundworlds with sweeping melodies that gesture to ballet scores of the 19th century. Bob Crowley’s wildly imaginative, eye-popping designs draw on everything from puppetry to projections to make Wonderland wonderfully real. Alice encounters a cast of extraordinary and instantly recognizable characters, from the highly strung Queen of Hearts – who performs a hilarious send-up of The Sleeping Beautys famous Rose Adage – to a playing-card corps de ballet, a sinuous caterpillar and a tap-dancing Mad Hatter. But the ballet does not avoid the darker undercurrents of Lewis Carroll’s story: a nightmarish kitchen, an eerily disembodied Cheshire Cat and the unhinged tea party are all here in vivid detail. The delicious result shows The Royal Ballet at its best, bringing together world-class dance with enchanting family entertainment.

The Royal Ballet Live
The Winter's Tale (ballet)

Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet, created his adaptation of Shakespeare’s late great romance The Winter’s Tale for The Royal Ballet in 2014. Building on the success of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Winter’s Tale received ecstatic praise at its premiere, acclaimed by critics and audiences alike for its intelligent, distinctive and emotionally powerful story, told through exquisite dance. It is now widely judged to be a modern ballet classic.The story follows the destruction of a marriage through consuming jealousy, the abandonment of a child and a seemingly hopeless love. Yet, through remorse and regret – and after a seemingly miraculous return to life – the ending is one of forgiveness and reconciliation. With powerful designs by Bob Crowley and atmospheric music by Joby Talbot, The Winter’s Tale is a masterful modern narrative ballet.

The Royal Ballet Live
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (ballet) encore

At a garden party on a sunny afternoon, Alice is surprised to see her parents’ friend Lewis Carroll transform into a white rabbit. When she follows him down a rabbit hole events become curiouser and curiouser... As Alice journeys through Wonderland, she encounters countless strange creatures. She’s swept off her feet by the charming Knave of Hearts, who’s on the run for stealing the tarts. Confusion piles upon confusion. Then Alice wakes with a start. Was it all a daydream? Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland burst onto the stage in 2011 in an explosion of colour, stage magic and inventive, sophisticated choreography. Joby Talbot’s score combines contemporary soundworlds with sweeping melodies that gesture to ballet scores of the 19th century. Bob Crowley’s wildly imaginative, eye-popping designs draw on everything from puppetry to projections to make Wonderland wonderfully real.Alice encounters a cast of extraordinary and instantly recognizable characters, from the highly strung Queen of Hearts – who performs a hilarious send-up of The Sleeping Beauty's famous Rose Adage – to a playing-card corps de ballet, a sinuous caterpillar and a tap-dancing Mad Hatter. But the ballet does not avoid the darker undercurrents of Lewis Carroll’s story: a nightmarish kitchen, an eerily disembodied Cheshire Cat and the unhinged tea party are all here in vivid detail. The delicious result shows The Royal Ballet at its best, bringing together world-class dance with enchanting family entertainment

The Royal Ballet Live
Bernstein Centenary Ballet

Leonard Bernstein was one of the first classical composers in America to achieve both popular and critical acclaim. He was eclectic in his sources – drawing on jazz and modernism, the traditions of Jewish music and the Broadway musical – and many of Bernstein’s scores are remarkably well suited to dance. He was particularly associated with Jerome Robbins, their credits together including Fancy Free andWest Side Story. To celebrate the centenary year of the composer’s birth, The Royal Ballet has united all three of its associate choreographers to celebrate the dynamic range and danceability of Bernstein’s music.The programme includes two world premieres by Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor and Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon, marking each artist’s first foray into Bernstein. At the heart of the programme is the first revival of Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett’s The Age of Anxiety, created in 2014 to Bernstein’s soul-searching Second Symphony. Both symphony and ballet are inspired by W.H. Auden’s masterful modernist poem, itself written in response to the atmosphere of disillusionment and uncertainty that followed the end of World War II