The Wellesley’s LIVE events in December feature ‘The Nutcracker’ from The Royal Ballet and the National Theatre’s acclaimed production of ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ with Ralph Fiennes as Anthony and Sophie Okonedo as Cleopatra.
‘The Nutcracker’ is one of ballet’s timeless works and The Royal Ballet’s production is a classic. It is relayed LIVE from The Royal Opera House to cinemas around the world on Monday 3 December at 7.15pm.
Since its first performance in 1984 Peter Wright’s version of the story with Tchaikovsky’s score has delighted audiences of all ages. The narrative tells the story of Clara who 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 doll.
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.
As a prelude to Christmas the ballet provides ideal family entertainment – and this performance stars The Royal Ballet’s Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov.
The National Theatre’s production of ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ is relayed LIVE on Thursday 6 December at 7pm.
Shakespeare’s play has been called “a love story but also a political thriller”. The Director, Simon Godwin, sees it as “not quite Romeo and Juliet and not quite Julius Caesar but a bit of both”.
The plot opens after the deaths of Julius Caesar and his assassins. General Mark Antony now rules alongside his fellow defenders of Rome. But at the fringes of a war-torn empire the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and Mark Antony have fallen fiercely in love. In a tragic fight between devotion and duty, obsession becomes a catalyst for war.
The performances of the two leads have attracted unequivocal praise from critics since the play’s premier in September. Okonedo is described as ‘magnificent’ as the imperious Egyptian Queen and, in the words of the ‘What’s on Stage’ critic, “Fiennes combines the world-weariness of a man past his prime, who knows he should be somewhere else ruling, rather than mucking around with a beautiful woman but who is equally unable to shake off the sense that “this is my place” – that there is nowhere better to be. As his performance progresses, and he is called back to Rome, to his duty, he more and more resembles a wounded bull, all hunched shoulders and powder-keg passion kept just about in check. The result is engrossing, unexpected and quite riveting.”
Monday 3 December @ 7.15pm ‘The Nutcracker’
Thursday 6 December @ 7.00pm ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’
Advance booking details can be found on The Wellesley Cinema’s website.