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John Le Carre
An Evening with George Smiley

Broadcast live from London's Royal Festival Hall, join us for a celebration of one of the world’s greatest writers as he shares the secrets behind the creation of his most beloved character. From his extraordinary Cold War novels – such as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – to his powerful descriptions of the War on Terror in The Night Manager, A Most Wanted Man and A Delicate Truth, the writing of John le Carré has come to define the last half century. In a rare public appearance and one-off event, the author reads from his new novel, A Legacy of Spies, which sees the return of his most iconic Cold War characters, as their past comes back to claim them in the present. With a unique question and answer session, this is an unmissable opportunity to experience one of the foremost chroniclers of our age, direct and in his own words. In conversation le Carré discusses the full breadth of his career spanning five decades, and reflects on the continuing story of his most famous creation, the tubby, bespectacled spy, George Smiley. Through this event John le Carré and the producers The Ink Factory are raising money for Médicins Sans Frontières / Doctors without Borders (MSF), and are donating their proceeds to the charity

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
Yerma

The incredible Billie Piper (Penny Dreadful, Great Britain) returns in her Evening Standard Best Actress award-winning role. A young woman is driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child in Simon Stone’s radical production of Lorca’s achingly powerful masterpiece. The unmissable theatre phenomenon sold out at the Young Vic and critics call it ‘an extraordinary theatrical triumph’ (The Times) and ‘stunning, searing, unmissable’ (Mail on Sunday). Billie Piper’s lead performance is described as ‘spellbinding’ (The Evening Standard), ‘astonishing’ (iNews) and ‘devastatingly powerful’ (The Daily Telegraph). Set in contemporary London, Piper’s portrayal of a woman in her thirties desperate to conceive builds with elemental force to a staggering, shocking, climax. Please note that this broadcast does not have an interval. ★★★★★ "Brutal yet ferociously funny", Metro ★★★★★ "Billie Piper makes a shattering Yerma in Simon Stone’s inspired reworking of Lorca", The Observer ★★★★★ "A shatteringly powerful reinvention of a familiar classic", The Independent

Age Range: Cert 15

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
Yerma encore

The incredible Billie Piper (Penny Dreadful, Great Britain) returns in her Evening Standard Best Actress award-winning role. A young woman is driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child in Simon Stone’s radical production of Lorca’s achingly powerful masterpiece. The unmissable theatre phenomenon sold out at the Young Vic and critics call it ‘an extraordinary theatrical triumph’ (The Times) and ‘stunning, searing, unmissable’ (Mail on Sunday). Billie Piper’s lead performance is described as ‘spellbinding’ (The Evening Standard), ‘astonishing’ (iNews) and ‘devastatingly powerful’ (The Daily Telegraph). Set in contemporary London, Piper’s portrayal of a woman in her thirties desperate to conceive builds with elemental force to a staggering, shocking, climax. Please note that this broadcast does not have an interval. ★★★★★ "Brutal yet ferociously funny", Metro ★★★★★ "Billie Piper makes a shattering Yerma in Simon Stone’s inspired reworking of Lorca", The Observer ★★★★★ "A shatteringly powerful reinvention of a familiar classic", The Independent

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.

Royal Opera House
The Magic Flute

Mozart’s glorious opera The Magic Flute s brought enchantingly to life in David McVicar’s production with beautiful sets by John Macfarlane. Prince Tamino promises the Queen of the Night that he will rescue her daughter Pamina from the enchanter Sarastro. He begins his quest, accompanied by the bird-catcher Papageno – but all is not as it seems... David McVicar’s classic production embraces both the seriousness and comedy of Mozart’s work. The audience is transported to a fantastical world of dancing animals, flying machines and dazzlingly starry skies. The setting provides a wonderful backdrop for Mozart’s kaleidoscopic score, from the Queen of the Night’s coloratura fireworks to Tamino and Pamina’s lyrical love duets and Papageno’s hearty, folksong-like arias.As well as being a comedy, The Magic Flute is an expression of Mozart’s profound spiritual beliefs: Enlightenment concerns with the search for wisdom and virtue are at the heart of this enchanting tale. The Magic Flute was an instant success with audiences and Mozart’s supposed rival Salieri described it as an ‘operone’ – a great opera.

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
Titus Andronicus Encore

The decay of Rome reaches its violent depths in Shakespeare’s bloodiest play. Titus is a ruler exhausted by war and leaves Rome in disarray, with rape, cannibalism and brutality filling the moral void at the heart of a corrupt society.

Age Range: Cert 15

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
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