The story of a family and a company that changed the world, told in three parts on a single evening. Sam Mendes directs Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles who play the Lehman Brothers, their sons and grandsons. On a cold September morning in 1844 a young man from Bavaria stands on a New York dockside. Dreaming of a new life in the new world. He is joined by his two brothers and an American epic begins. 163 years later, the firm they establish – Lehman Brothers – spectacularly collapses into bankruptcy, and triggers the largest financial crisis in history. Sam Mendes (Skyfall, King Lear) returns to the National to direct Ben Power's English version of Stefano Massini's vast and poetic play, a hit across Europe.
Featuring a Tony Award-winning performance from host of the The Late Late Show, James Corden, the hilarious West End and Broadway hit One Man, Two Guvnors returns to cinemas to mark National Theatre Live's 10th birthday. Fired from his skiffle band, Francis Henshall becomes minder to Roscoe Crabbe, a small time East End hood, now in Brighton to collect £6,000 from his fiancée's dad. But Roscoe is really his sister Rachel posing as her own dead brother, who's been killed by her boyfriend Stanley Stubbers. Holed up at The Cricketers' Arms, the permanently ravenous Francis spots the chance of an extra meal ticket and takes a second job with one Stanley Stubbers, who is hiding from the police and waiting to be re-united with Rachel. To prevent discovery, Francis must keep his two guvnors apart. Simple.
The impulsive, charismatic Don Giovanni is a serial seducer, accompanied by his long-suffering servant Leporello. But when Don Giovanni commits murder, he unleashes a dark power beyond his control. Don Giovanni continues to seduce and betray with his usual rapacity. Haunted by the ghost of the murdered man, he decides to invite him to dinner. The ghost urges him to repent – but Don Giovanni refuses.
'The course of true love never did run smooth.' A feuding fairy King and Queen of the forest cross paths with four runaway lovers and a troupe of actors trying to rehearse a play. As their dispute grows, the magical royal couple meddle with mortal lives leading to love triangles, mistaken identities and transformations… with hilarious, but dark consequences. Shakespeare's most famous romantic comedy will be captured live from the Bridge Theatre in London. Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Oliver Chris (Green Wing, NT Live: Young Marx), David Moorst (NT Live: Allelujah!) and Hammed Animashaun (The Barber Shop Chronicles) lead the cast as Titania, Oberon, Puck and Bottom. Directed by Nicholas Hytner, this production of A Midsummer Night's Dream will build on the success of his immersive staging of Julius Caesar (NT Live 2018). The Bridge Theatre will become a forest – a dream world of flying fairies, contagious fogs and moonlight revels, surrounded by a roving audience following the action on foot.
Don Pasquale, a wealthy old bachelor, is outraged when he hears his nephew Ernesto intends to marry the impoverished widow Norina. He determines to marry himself and disinherit Ernesto. Ernesto and Norina despair, but their friend Doctor Malatesta promises to help them – and teach Pasquale a lesson. Malatesta persuades Norina to disguise herself as his sister, then presents her to Don Pasquale as a potential bride. Pasquale is so delighted with the young woman's docile behaviour that he demands they marry at once. The marriage takes place – witnessed by a fake notary – after which the young bride becomes utterly overbearing and unpleasant, tormenting her 'husband'. When Pasquale discovers a note from his 'wife' arranging a rendezvous with a lover, he determines to confront her and end his misery. The conspirators are now set to reveal their trickery, but will Don Pasquale forgive them?
Raymonda was created by Marius Petipa in 1898 for the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. It contains some of his most spectacular choreography and a magnificent score by Alexander Glazunov, full of spirited rhythms and lilting waltzes – George Balanchine called it 'some of the finest ballet music we have'. Rudolf Nureyev had an intimate knowledge of Raymonda: he performed in the ballet as a young dancer with the Kirov Theatre and staged a full-length version for The Royal Ballet in 1964, reviving many of the dances from memory. Nureyev presented an adapted version of Act III at Covent Garden in 1969. Against an opulent setting created by Barry Kay, a Hungarian folkdance opens the wedding celebrations for a ballerina and her cavalier. A lively male pas de quatre is followed by the famous grand pas hongrois, which contains ensembles for all 10 dancers, who wear radiant white costumes. Act III of Raymonda was performed as part of a tribute to Nureyev at the Royal Opera House in 2003.
Hansard Hansard; noun The official report of all parliamentary debates. It's a summer's morning in 1988 and Tory politician Robin Hesketh has returned home to the idyllic Cotswold house he shares with his wife of 30 years, Diana. But all is not as blissful as it seems. Diana has a stinking hangover, a fox is destroying the garden, and secrets are being dug up all over the place. As the day draws on, what starts as gentle ribbing and the familiar rhythms of marital sparring quickly turns to blood-sport. A witty and devastating new play.
Matthew Warchus directs Andrew Scott (BBC's Sherlock, Fleabag) in Noël Coward's provocative comedy Present Laughter. As he prepares to embark on an overseas tour, star actor Garry Essendine's colourful life is in danger of spiralling out of control. Engulfed by an escalating identity crisis as his many and various relationships compete for his attention, Garry's few remaining days at home are a chaotic whirlwind of love, sex, panic and soul-searching. Captured live from The Old Vic in London, Present Laughter is a giddy and surprisingly modern reflection on fame, desire and loneliness.
Clara is given an enchanted Nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve. As midnight strikes, she creeps downstairs to find a magical adventure awaiting her and her Nutcracker. The magician Drosselmeyer transforms the drawing room for a battle between mice and toy soldiers. During the battle, Clara saves the Nutcracker's life - so breaking a magical spell that turned him from a boy to a toy - and the Mouse King is defeated. In celebration, Drosselmeyer sweeps Clara and the Nutcracker off to the Kingdom of Sweets, where they meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and take part in a wonderful display of dances. The next morning, Clara's adventures seem to have been more than just a dream.
The wicked fairy Carabosse is furious she wasn't invited to Princess Aurora's christening. She gives the baby a spindle, saying that one day the Princess will prick her finger on it and die. The Lilac Fairy makes her own christening gift a softening of Carabosse's curse: Aurora will not die, but will fall into a deep sleep, which only a prince's kiss will break. On her 16th birthday, Aurora discovers the spindle and pricks her finger. She falls into an enchanted sleep, and the whole palace sleeps with her. One hundred years later, Prince Florimund discovers the palace, hidden deep within a great, dark forest. He wakes Aurora with a kiss.
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. Rodolfo is painfully aware that he cannot afford the medicine and care Mimì needs, and so separates from her. As her sickness takes hold Mimì returns to Rodolfo's garret. They are joyfully reunited – but, despite the care of Rodolfo and his friends, Mimì dies.
The Royal Ballet presents two world premieres with Cathy Marston's first work for the Company on the Main Stage and a new work by Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett.
Beethoven's only opera is a masterpiece, an uplifting story of risk and triumph. In this new production, conducted by Antonio Pappano, Jonas Kaufmann plays the political prisoner Florestan, and Lise Davidsen his wife Leonore (disguised as 'Fidelio') who daringly sets out to rescue him. Set in strong counterpoint are the ingredients of domestic intrigue, determined love and the cruelty of an oppressive regime. The music is transcendent throughout and includes the famous Act I Quartet, the Prisoners' Chorus and Florestan's impassioned Act II cry in the darkness and vision of hope. Tobias Kratzer's new staging brings together the dark reality of the French Revolutionary 'Terror' and our own time to illuminate Fidelio's inspiring message of shared humanity. Recorded from 17 March
Prince Siegfried chances upon a flock of swans while out hunting. When one of the swans turns into a beautiful woman, Odette, he is enraptured. But she is under a spell that holds her captive, allowing her to regain her human form only at night. The evil spirit Von Rothbart, arbiter of Odette's curse, disguises his daughter Odile as Odette to trick Siegfried into breaking his vow of love. Fooled, Siegfried declares his love for Odile, and so dooms Odette to suffer under the curse forever.
Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) and Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci (The Players) are today Italian opera's most famous double act, but they were written independently. Cavalleria rusticana came first, its hugely successful premiere in 1890 doubtless an influence on Leoncavallo. His Pagliacci in 1892 was another triumph. The two works, each undeniable masterpieces of the verismo tradition of realism, share dramatic concision, melodic richness and an obsession with violent jealousy. Damiano Michieletto's production was an Olivier-Award-winning hit when first presented in 2015. He sets both operas within the same village, allowing characters from one piece to reappear in the other and offering theatrical realism within visuals that are modern and yet timeless. The production was widely praised at its premiere, and summarized by the Financial Times as 'a gripping evening all round'.
Dante's Divine Comedy is an epic journey through the afterlife: it encompasses the horrifying drama of Inferno and its damned, the lyrical mysticism of pilgrims on mount Purgatorio and the dazzling spheres of Paradiso with their endless configurations of light. The poem was inspired by the agony of Dante's own exile, and traces his path from crisis to revelation guided by his literary hero Virgil and his lost love Beatrice. In his new work, The Royal Ballet's trailblazing Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor creates a world premiere in collaboration with an award-winning team – contemporary conductor-composer Thomas Adès, artist Tacita Dean, lighting designer Lucy Carter and dramaturg Uzma Hameed – to bring us closer to Dante and his extraordinary vision.
With the first chords of Elektra, we are plunged into a psychologically intense and violent world. The opera shocked audiences (and even its performers!) when it had its premiere in Dresden in 1909. Today, as then, Elektra's desperate need to avenge the murder of her father by her mother makes for gripping drama. At 90 minutes, the opera is one of Strauss's most concentrated works, and in style and instrumentation one of his most modernist scores. The political and social fractures in early 20th-century Europe, and emerging concepts of psychology, provide a rich subtext in Charles Edwards's production. The set and costumes allude to Classical and early 20th-century art and architecture, and highlight the moral decay at the heart of Klytämnestra's kingdom. Strauss's richly-orchestrated score takes the principal singers to their vocal limits. It is characterized by dramatic musical motifs, including the distinctive 'Agamemnon' motif, used to represent Elektra's obsessive thoughts of revenge. This highly dramatic opera also contains passages of great vocal beauty, including Elektra's rapturous recognition of her brother Orest, returned to avenge his father.