A stark, unforgiving and gripping satire on bourgeois Europeans and the people who serve them. 'Happy End is a satirical nightmare of haute-bourgeois European prosperity: as stark, brilliant and unforgiving as a halogen light.' Peter Bradshaw.
Michael Haneke is one of the greatest directors working today and one who challenges his viewers with each new film.
Sônia Braga plays a 65-year-old woman refusing to be bullied out of her seafront apartment by developers, Aquarius is both a powerful celebration of its independent heroine and a scathing satire on institutional corruption. And as with his first film, Neighbouring Sounds, it presents a community haunted by artefacts of the past and the architecture of change, social and personal conflicts seamlessly intertwined. Mark Kermode
Winner of Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize Berlin 2017, Félicité is a portrait of Kinshasa’s vibrant music scene told through Félicité, a single mother struggling to make it as a bar singer. Congolese singer-turned actress Vero Tshanda Beya proves entirely mesmerizing from the moment the camera alights on her strong-featured, deep-gazing face. Her backing band is played by the Kasai Allstars, Kinshasa’s most famous and inventive outfit.
In Damascus, energetic Oum Yazan is trying to keep together her family life while the war is raging outside. Trapped in their apartment, the family is faced with a decision: should they sacrifice the life of one to protect the rest? This is a deeply moving film and a great piece of filmmaking.
18strong sexual images, suicide scene
Ildikó Enyedi, Hungary, 2017, 18, 116m, subtitles
Winner of the Golden Bear award Berlin 2017. Two introverted people working in a slaughterhouse near Budapest find out by pure chance that they share the same dream every night. They are puzzled, incredulous, a bit frightened. As they hesitantly accept this strange coincidence, they try to recreate in broad daylight what happens in their dream.
Written and directed by indie icon Jim Jarmusch. Paterson, a bus driver lives a sedate domestic life with his wife and their unflappable bull dog. This is a portrait of a person's daily routine that's deeply felt and remarkably powerful. Paterson is an extraordinarily humane film about the creative process, told on the smallest possible scale, although you do risk coming out with a new affection for modernist poetry.
Fishguard Panto is back with a new version of Jack and the Beanstalk this January, with all the usual characters brought to life by Fishguard and District Drama Society. King Bertram has been taking everyones money, and his daughter Beatrice has a new friend Jack, who climbs the beanstalk to find a Giant living in the clouds. Stealing Mrs Clucky seems the answer to everything, but it doesn’t work out as he expects!
Traditional panto fun for all ages - book early as it usually sells out.
Adults £7, Children £5. ( Wednesday evening is a preview performance charged at child rates for all. )
The man was carrying nothing; his hands clasped to a fresh bullet wound leaking blood from his belly.
This was Vincent van Gogh, then a little known artist; now the most famous artist in the world.
His tragic death has long been known, what has remained a mystery is how and why he came to be shot.
Loving Vincent tells that story.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Benedict Andrews
Tennessee Williams’ twentieth century masterpiece Cat on a Hot Tin Roof played a strictly limited season in London’s West End in 2017. Following his smash hit production of A Streetcar Named Desire, Benedict Andrews’ ‘thrilling revival’ (New York Times) stars Sienna Miller alongside, Jack O’Connell and Colm Meaney.
On a steamy night in Mississippi, a Southern family gather at their cotton plantation to celebrate Big Daddy’s birthday. The scorching heat is almost as oppressive as the lies they tell. Brick and Maggie dance round the secrets and sexual tensions that threaten to destroy their marriage. With the future of the family at stake, which version of the truth is real – and which will win out?
"A bold reimagining…innovative and powerfully acted"
"A brilliant, lacerating account of the play… unforgettable"
"Miller and O’Connell get to a raw and naked truth"
Ben Whishaw (The Danish Girl, Skyfall, Hamlet) and Michelle Fairley (Fortitude, Game of Thrones) play Brutus and Cassius, David Calder (The Lost City of Z, The Hatton Garden Job) plays Caesar and David Morrissey (The Missing, Hangmen, The Walking Dead) is Mark Antony. Broadcast live from The Bridge Theatre, London.
Caesar returns in triumph to Rome and the people pour out of their homes to celebrate. Alarmed by the autocrat’s popularity, the educated élite conspire to bring him down. After his assassination, civil war erupts on the streets of the capital.
Nicholas Hytner’s production will thrust the audience into the street party that greets Caesar’s return, the congress that witnesses his murder, the rally that assembles for his funeral and the chaos that explodes in its wake.
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Rufus Norris
The ruined aftermath of a bloody civil war. Ruthlessly fighting to survive, the Macbeths are propelled towards the crown by forces of elemental darkness.
Shakespeare’s most intense and terrifying tragedy, directed by Rufus Norris (The Threepenny Opera, London Road), will see Rory Kinnear (Young Marx, Othello) and Anne-Marie Duff (Oil, Suffragette) return to the National Theatre to play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
Photograph (Anne-Marie Duff and Rory Kinnear) by Jack Davison
LIVE IN CINEMAS TUESDAY 27 MARCH 2018
THE ROYAL BALLET CELEBRATES THE CENTENARY OF LEONARD BERNSTEIN’S BIRTH WITH AN ALL-BERNSTEIN PROGRAMME FROM CHOREOGRAPHERS WAYNE MCGREGOR, LIAM SCARLETT AND CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON
CHOREOGRAPHY WAYNE MCGREGOR, LIAM SCARLETT, CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON MUSIC LEONARD BERNSTEIN
Leonard Bernstein was one of the first classical composers in America to achieve both popular and critical acclaim. He was eclectic in his sources – drawing on jazz and modernism, the traditions of Jewish music and the Broadway musical – and many of Bernstein’s scores are remarkably well suited to dance. He was particularly associated with Jerome Robbins, their credits together including Fancy Free and West Side Story. To celebrate the centenary year of the composer’s birth, The Royal Ballet has united all three of its associate choreographers to celebrate the dynamic range and danceability of Bernstein’s music.
The programme includes two world premieres by Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor and Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon, marking each artist’s first foray into Bernstein. At the heart of the programme is the first revival of Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett’s The Age of Anxiety, created in 2014 to Bernstein’s soul-searching Second Symphony. Both symphony and ballet are inspired by W.H. Auden’s masterful modernist poem, itself written in response to the atmosphere of disillusionment and uncertainty that followed the end of World War II.
LIVE IN CINEMAS THURSDAY 3 MAY 2018
KENNETH MACMILLAN’S POWERFUL TELLING OF MANON AND DES GRIEUX’S TRAGIC LOVE IS A MASTERPIECE OF MODERN BALLET, SET TO MUSIC BY MASSENET
Manon’s brother Lescaut is offering her to the highest bidder when she meets Des Grieux and falls in love. They elope to Paris, but when Monsieur G.M. offers Manon a life of luxury as his mistress she can’t resist. With the Lescauts’ encouragement Des Grieux cheats at cards in an attempt to win Monsieur G.M.’s fortune. They are caught. Manon is arrested as a prostitute and deported to New Orleans, followed by Des Grieux. On the run, Manon dies from exhaustion. Kenneth MacMillan’s source for Manon was the 18th-century French novel already adapted for opera by Massenet and Puccini. The premiere was given on 7 March 1974, with the lead roles danced by Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell. The ballet quickly became a staple of The Royal Ballet’s repertory, and a touchstone of adult, dramatic dance. MacMillan found new sympathy with the capricious Manon and her struggle to escape poverty. Designs by his regular collaborator Nicholas Georgiadis reflect this, depicting a world of lavish splendour polluted by miserable destitution. MacMillan’s spectacular ensemble scenes for the whole Company create vivid, complex portraits of the distinct societies of Paris and New Orleans. But it is Manon and Des Grieux’s impassioned pas de deux – recalling the intensity of MacMillan’s earlier Romeo and Juliet – that drive this tragic story, and make Manon one of MacMillan’s most powerful dramas
Swan Lake has had a special role in the repertory of The Royal Ballet since 1934. This Season The Royal Ballet creates a new production with additional choreography by Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett. While remaining faithful to the Petipa-Ivanov text, Scarlett will bring fresh eyes to the staging of this classic ballet, in collaboration with his long-term designer John Macfarlane.
Prince Siegfried chances upon a ﬂ ock 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.
Swan Lake was Tchaikovsky’s ﬁ rst ballet score. Given its status today as arguably the best loved and most admired of all classical ballets, it is perhaps surprising that at its premiere in 1877 Swan Lake was poorly received. It is thanks to the 1895 production by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov that Swan Lake has become part of not only ballet consciousness but also wider popular culture. That success is secured not only by the sublime, symphonic sweep of Tchaikovsky’s score, but also by the striking choreographic contrasts between Petipa’s royal palace scenes and the lyric lakeside scenes created by Ivanov.
Peter Wright’s nigh-on definitive production for The Royal Ballet ranks as one of the most enduring and enchanting versions of The Nutcracker. With its festive period setting, dancing snowflakes and enchanting stage magic, Lev Ivanov’s 1892 ballet has become the perfect Christmas entertainment, with Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous, sugar-spun music the most recognizable of all ballet scores.
Loosely based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, the ballet opens with the lively Christmas party that is hosted by the Stahlbaum family, its Victorian setting captured in opulent detail by Julia Trevelyan Oman’s designs. Wright’s choreography ingeniously incorporates surviving fragments of the ballet’s original material, including the sublime pas de deux for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince. But in emphasizing the relationship between Clara and the Nutcracker Prince, the production also gains a touching subtext of first love.
Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet, created his adaptation of Shakespeare’s late great romance The Winter’s Tale for The Royal Ballet in 2014. Building on the success of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Winter’s Tale received ecstatic praise at its premiere, acclaimed by critics and audiences alike for its intelligent, distinctive and emotionally powerful story, told through exquisite dance. It is now widely judged to be a modern ballet classic. The story follows the destruction of a marriage through consuming jealousy, the abandonment of a child and a seemingly hopeless love. Yet, through remorse and regret – and after a seemingly miraculous return to life – the ending is one of forgiveness and reconciliation. With powerful designs by Bob Crowley and atmospheric music by Joby Talbot, The Winter’s Tale is a masterful modern narrative ballet.
LIVE IN CINEMAS TUESDAY 6 MARCH 2018
BIZET’S CLASSIC FRENCH OPERA STARS ANNA GORYACHOVA IN BARRIE KOSKY’S INTENSE PRODUCTION
Carmen is the best-known work by French composer Georges Bizet, and one of the most famous operas in the entire art form – numbers such as the Habanera and the Toreador Song have permeated the popular consciousness as little else has. The opera’s heady combination of passion, sensuality and violence initially proved too much for the stage, and it was a critical failure on its 1875 premiere. Bizet died shortly after, and never learned of the spectacular success his Carmen would achieve: the opera has been performed more than five hundred times at Covent Garden alone.
This ever-popular opera is given a fresh point of view in Barrie Kosky’s highly physical production, originally created for Frankfurt Opera. The Australian director is one of the world’s most sought-after opera directors, whose Royal Opera debut with Shostakovich’s The Nose in 2016 was greeted with delight. For Carmen he has devised a farfrom-traditional version, incorporating music written by Bizet for the score but not usually heard, and giving a new voice to the opera’s endlessly fascinating central character.
Verdi’s life-long love affair with Shakespeare’s works began with Macbeth, a play he considered to be ‘one of the greatest creations of man’. With his librettist, Francesco Maria Piave, Verdi set out to create ‘something out of the ordinary’. Their success is borne out in every bar of a score that sees Verdi at his most theatrical: it bristles with demonic energy.
The warrior Macbeth fights on the side of the King of Scotland – but when a coven of witches prophesy that he shall become king himself, a ruthless ambition drives Macbeth and his wife to horrific acts. Murder makes Macbeth king, and intrigue and butchery are the hallmarks of his brief, doomed reign. The witches make another prediction, which also comes true: Macbeth and his lady lose their lives, and justice is restored.
Phyllida Lloyd’s 2002 production for The Royal Opera is richly hued, shot through with black, red and gold. The witches – imagined by designer Anthony Ward as strange, scarlet-turbaned creatures – are ever-present agents of fate. Lloyd depicts the Macbeths’ childlessness as the dark sadness lurking behind their terrible deeds. The Royal Opera’s production uses Verdi’s 1865 Paris revision of the opera, which includes Lady Macbeth’s riveting aria ‘La luce langue’.
Giuseppe Verdi wrote in 1855 that Rigoletto, based on Victor Hugo’s play Le Roi s’amuse, was his ‘best opera’. He had had to overcome state censorship to stage it – the censors objected to its depiction of an immoral ruler – but he was vindicated by the premiere’s huge success in 1851. Rigoletto was performed 250 times in the next 10 years and has remained one of the most popular of all operas.
David McVicar’s production highlights the cruelty at the heart of the court of Mantua. Richly dressed courtiers engage in orgies and revelries to Verdi’s heady, spirited dances. The opera’s many musical highlights include the ebullient ‘La donna è mobile’, in which the Duke boasts of his disregard for women; Gilda’s exquisite, plangent duets with Rigoletto and the Duke; and the gorgeous Act III quartet that beautifully weaves the voices together as the story quickens to its shattering conclusion.
Tosca is one of the great evenings of opera, and from its strident opening chords conjures up a world of political instability and menace.
Jonathan Kent’s production for The Royal Opera captures the dangerous political turbulence of Rome in 1800. The Chief of Police, Scarpia – one of the most malevolent villains in opera – ruthlessly pursues and tortures enemies of the state. His dark, demonic music contrasts with the expansive melodies of the idealistic lovers, Tosca and Cavaradossi, who express their passion in sublime arias, including ‘Vissi d’arte’ and ‘E lucevan le stelle’. Giacomo Puccini’s dramatic work was a hit with audiences on its 1900 premiere and it remains one of the most performed of all operas – with its gripping plot and glorious music, it’s easy to see why.
A candle-lit church, Scarpia’s gloomy study with its hidden torture chamber and the false optimism of a Roman dawn: this handsome production throws into relief the ruthlessly taut drama, as the tension is wound up towards a fateful conclusion. Puccini’s meticulously researched score is infused with the same authentic detail, from distant cannon fire during the Act I Te Deum to tolling church bells and the sounds of a firing squad.
Having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga.
Director Julien Temple (The Great Rock n Roll Swindle, Absolute Beginners) takes a stage show, adds some drama, archive, animation and music, then shakes it all up for a “montage” style film of performance as documentary in MY LIFE STORY.
Opening with Suggs (Graham McPherson) on stage in a London music hall, we move quickly to a bath where he recalls the death of his beloved cat on his fiftieth birthday, triggering a personal quest to discover what happened to the father he never knew.
Heading back to the stage before taxi driver (Perry Benson) drives us to archive heaven in 1970’s Soho, the film continues throughout to switch between film forms, as well as music & dialog. With his faithfull man servant Deano (Dean Mumford) on piano, Suggs seamlessly moves from words to song throughout with The Kinks, Ian Dury, Prince Buster and of course his beloved Madness.
Stunned by what he learns Suggs is taken back through his life to a childhood on the streets of Soho: mum a jazz singer from Liverpool, working in Soho clubs run by mobsters, dad a heroin addict he never knew. A spell in Haverfordwest follows, returning to London to the epithet of “flea-bitten Jock-Welsh bastard”, and the schooldays which inspired “Baggy Trousers”.
We see a misspent youth, running the gauntlet of London's teenage tribes and football hooligans, hanging out with the punks at the Roxy and covering North London in self-aggrandising graffiti, his first job as a butcher's boy, delivering meat to the nuns and that fat is impervious to cold water: that's why ducks wear it.
Inside tales of the Madness years roll into centre stage, from a Teddy Boy riot during an early gig in a florist's, through the fateful meeting with The Specials at the Hope & Anchor and the subsequent chaos of the 2 Tone tour.
Later scenes hosting a Karaoke TV show, becoming a DJ for Virgin Radio, a disappointingly small part acting opposite Keira Knightly and Sienna Miller – are intertwined with his attempts to find his father.
Bouncing back for the Madness reunion, including the famous Madstock earthquake of 1992, when dancers in Finsbury Park caused tremors of five on the Richter scale and the evacuation of nearby tower blocks. The moral – or, let's be honest, the excuse for a singalong finale – is that only one thing matters, and it must be love, love, love.
12Aupsetting scenes, suicide references, infrequent strong language
Twenty-eight year-old Jennifer Brea is working on her PhD at Harvard and soon to be engaged to the love of her life when she gets a mysterious fever that leaves her bedridden and looking for answers. Disbelieved by doctors and determined to live, she turns her camera on herself and her community, a hidden world of millions confined to their homes and bedrooms by ME, commonly called chronic fatigue syndrome.