Live events at the Wellesley through to the end of April include world class classical ballet and two productions by the UK stage’s finest companies.
‘Coppelia’ is transmitted on Wednesday 19 April at 7pm. This is a comic ballet in the same vein as ‘The Nutcracker’. The narrative includes dolls coming to life and a love affair between Franz, a village youth, and Swanhilda who he casts aside after falling in love with the sinister Dr Coppelius’s life-size doll. But Swanhilda resists his rejection, breaks into Dr Coppelius’s workshop and winds up all his mechanical dolls. When Franz’s life is threatened by the angry doctor who needs a human soul to animate his Coppelia, Swanhilda saves him by offering her own dowry. The Mayor eventually pays off the doctor and Franz and Swanhilda are married.
This is a perfect ballet for the whole family to enjoy – and the production by the Australian Ballet is described as ‘a thrilling display of dance [in which] the final duet between Franz and Swanhilda – a long, complex phrase of trust and beauty – was nothing short of breathtaking.”
Daniel Radcliffe may be known primarily for his film role as Harry Potter but he has a since carved out a fine career on stage. He stars in the National Theatre’s production of Tom Stoppard’s ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead’ which comes live to the Wellesley on Thursday 20 April at 7pm.
The play is absurd. It involves two minor characters in Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, childhood friends of Hamlet’s who are confused observers of and hapless contributors to the events which occur in the play.
The double act of Radcliffe and Joshua Maguire playing the roles once proposed as ideal for Morecombe and Wise have been reviewed as “clever. Daniel Radcliffe is given the part of the blanker of the two clowns, the one who is probably Rosencrantz, though no one can be quite sure. “I’m only good at support,” he says, and Radcliffe plays up to this: amiable and bewildered. Joshua McGuire is the clever clogs: explosively loquacious, rolling-eyed, bossy.”
This National Theatre production has been awarded 5 stars in almost every review and provides an evening of riotous entertainment for audiences – and without Potter.
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of ‘Julius Caesar’ is relayed live on Wednesday 27 April at 7pm.
This could be called a play for our times. An all-conquering hero, Julius Caesar, returns to Rome to find mutiny brewing in the corridors of power. The conspirators against the dictatorial leader are themselves riven by divisions as the idea of assassination both challenges their scruples and encourages their own ambitions.
Angus Jackson and Robert Innes Hopkins, the director and designer of Julius Caesar, have taken a more traditional interpretation for this production which opens the RSC’s Rome season but, despite togas and marble columns, critics have praised the production for the clarity of its ideas and performances. What’s on Stage’s critic said, ‘At the heart of the show is a triumvirate of excellent performances…the laurel wreaths really belong to James Corrigan, Alex Waldmann and Martin Hutson as Mark Antony, Brutus and Cassius respectively. All rising young stars of the RSC, this trio spar and spark off each other with volatility, energy and real commitment, and they are a joy to watch.’