This Autumn/Winter, Picturehouse’s Screen Arts strand delivers the unique opportunity to watch the best in theatre, opera and ballet from the most globally renowned, innovative companies, broadcast directly into your local cinema. Whether you’re a seasoned expert or an interested newbie, the season offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see some of the world’s greatest artists interpret both classic masterworks and lesser-known gems, in an atmosphere that is accessible, affordable and relaxed.
The Royal Shakespeare Company brings out the light and shade of the playwright’s genius with The Merry Wives Of Windsor and Troilus And Cressida. It’s The Only Way Is Windsor in Shakespeare’s farcical comedy, as Sir John Falstaff (David Troughton) looks to secure his retirement by seducing the wives of wealthy men. With more than a touch of reality TV, those wily women of Windsor orchestrate Falstaff’s hilarious comeuppance. In Troilus And Cressida, two war-crossed lovers are ripped apart by the epic battle of the Trojans and the Greeks. Directed by RSC artistic director Gregory Doran, the satirical, futuristic vision of a world in conflict rings with the percussive sounds of music composed and performed by virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie.
If you’ve ever wanted to dip your toe into the world of opera, the Metropolitan Opera offers a new season that’s bound to get you hooked. Productions include Verdi’s epics Aida and La Traviata, which both spin stories of doomed romance. The former is a love triangle set in ancient Egypt; the latter is a wrong-side-of-the-tracks-relationship set in an 18th century Parisian court. Filled with overflowing passions, spectacular set pieces, and music to make the heart burst, these spectacular productions take timeless classics and make them feel shiny and new. In a lighter vein, Puccini’s La Fanciulla Del West is a gunpowder Western featuring tough barkeeps, gunfights, poker games and stagecoach robbers that combines the thrills and spills of a John Ford picture with the emotional wallop of Italian opera.
Perhaps the world’s most famous dance company, the Bolshoi Ballet, returns with an eclectic, electric season. A story of love, death and vengeful judgment set in India, La Bayadère is one of the greatest works in classical ballet. It has stunning sets and costumes, and contains the “Kingdom Of The Shades”, one of the most iconic scenes in the ballet repertoire. Inspired by Cervantes’ novel, Don Quixote follows the man from La Mancha and his servant, Sancho Panza, on an adventure to meet Quixote’s ideal woman. This is a showcase for the Bolshoi at its bravura best, featuring a cast of toreadors, flamenco dancers, gypsies and dryads.
Finally, The Nutcracker offers a perfect seasonal treat. On Christmas Eve, Marie’s nutcracker doll transforms into a prince, setting off a wonderful adventure of dancing snowflakes, sugar plum fairies, a mouse king and marching soldiers, all set to Tchaikovsky’s beloved score. It’s an evening of enchantment and wonder perfect for the young… and the young at heart.
RSC Live From Stratford-upon-Avon: The Merry Wives Of Windsor on 12 Sept. RSC Live From Stratford-upon-Avon: Troilus And Cressida on 14 Nov. The Met 2018-19 season starts with Aida on 6 Oct. The Bolshoi 2018-19 season starts with La Sylphide on 11 Nov.