April’s LIVE events at the Wellesley Cinema present audiences with genuinely exciting productions of dance and drama.
The month’s programme opens with the National Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ on Thursday 6 April at 7pm.
The plot of a play which has been called ‘the perfect comedy’ begins with a shipwreck in which Viola loses her twin brother, Sebastian. Disguised as a boy she becomes the page of Duke Orsino who is wooing Olivia and sends her love letters via Cesario – Viola in disguise. Being a play about confused identities, cross-dressing and romance, Olivia fall for Cesario – who, as Viola, falls for Orsino.
The subplot involves the feud between Olivia’s servant, Malvolio, and her uncle, Sir Toby Belch. Malvolio is duped into believing Olivia is in love with him. All kinds of mayhem follow but, ultimately, as in other Shakespeare’s comedies, all ends well – and Viola and Sebastian are reunited and everyone lives happily ever after – except Malvolio.
This production is directed by Simon Godwin and his casting of Tamsin Greig as Malvolio promises to expose new texual ideas. It has been described as “a masterstroke of casting. She doesn’t just steal her scenes she starts up her own black market. Hers is a performance of great comic skill, engaging with the audience and conveying the full extent of the hurt and humiliation that her character is subjected to.” This production makes the most of the play’s comedy and should both delight and entertain audiences.
The Bolshoi’s production of ‘A Hero of Our Time’ is relayed to audiences from Moscow on Sunday 9 April at 4pm.
The ballet is based on Mikhail Lermontov’s novel about the adventures of Grigory Alexandrovich Pechorin. He is a military officer, a hero yet also a flawed human being, disrespectful of woman, cynical, careless and disillusioned.
Choreographer Yuri Possokhov and theatre director Kirill Serebrennikov collaborated to adapt Lermontov’s stories, told through travellers’ notes and personal journals.
The role of the Pechorin is shared by different dancers in what was described as ‘an interesting and innovative ballet’ when premiered at the Bolshoi in 2015. The women he encounters during his journey also allow the company’s most accomplished dancers to take different roles during ‘a tragic poetic journey on a path set by this young officer’ who, in the novel says, “Give me everything [but] it is still not enough.”
On Tuesday 11 April the Royal Ballet’s production of ‘Jewels’ is screened LIVE from the Royal Opera House at 7.15pm.
George Balanchine’s ballet is in three parts, each one based on a jewel and set to different scores. The first – ‘Emeralds’ – to music by Fauré is a romantic, pastoral fantasy. The second – ‘Rubies’ – is jazzy and modern with a sassy 20th century American quality set to Stravinsky’s 1929 Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra with Sarah Lamb and Steven McCrea dancing the lead roles. The third – ‘Diamonds’ – is classical dance at its finest and Tchaikovsky’s score. Marianela Nuñez dances this role, offering ballet fans a unique opportunity to watch one of the Royal Ballet’s finest dancers.
This production opens on 3 April in London and celebrates the 50th year of the Balanchine’s ballet in the company’s repertoire.
Three further LIVE productions follow later in April:
Australian Ballet’s production of ‘Coppelia’ on Wednesday 19 April
the National Theatre’s ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstein are Dead’ starring Daniel Radcliffe on Thursday 20 April
the Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘Julius Ceasar’ on Wednesday 26 April.
All information can be found on merlincinema’s website