Supporters of Wellington’s dynamic arts scene have an exceptional double bill to look forward to next week at the Wellesley Cinema as part of the ‘Live’ season of transmissions across the country and around the world. The Royal Ballet’s acclaimed world premiere production of ‘The Winter’s Tale’ direct from the Royal Opera House is transmitted on Monday 28th April and the National Theatre’s ‘King Lear’ with Simon Russell Beale in the title role is screened on Thursday 1 May.
‘King Lear’, the drama of an aged king who divides his realm and then descends into madness, is directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes whose many credits include the films ‘American Beauty’ and ‘Skyfall’.
Simon Russell Beale is one of the country’s finest actors. His performance in a role that is regarded as the stage’s most demanding has been called as “exceptional”. The Telegraph reviewed it as “genuinely gripping. Simon Russell Beale movingly captures Lear’s terrified intimations of madness” and the Daily Express said, “Riveting. Simon Russell-Beale is extraordinary.”
Choreographed by The Royal Ballet’s Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon with Joby Talbot’s score and Bob Crawley’s dramatic designs, ‘The Winter’s Tale’ is only the second full-length ballet commissioned at Covent Garden in the last 20 years.
The ballet is based on Shakespeare’s exploration of jealousy, compassion and forgiveness. At its first night 2 weeks ago it attracted critical acclaim, The Guardian referring to it as “a ravishing success, fine thought-provoking entertainment”. The Evening Standard’s critic called it “a hugely enjoyable caper” whilst The Independent said “the atmosphere is wonderful”.
Tickets for both ‘Live’ productions and the programme of future screenings can be obtained from www.wellesleycinema.co.uk.
Report: Gill Paltridge