Best event cinema to see this season: theatre, ballet and opera at your local cinema
Including Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet for the National Theatre and Hugh Quarshie as Othello for the Royal Shakespeare Company
Once upon a time you had to travel to London to see a West End production or a performance by the Royal Ballet or Royal Shakespeare Company, but not in the age of event cinema. Now productions staged by cultural giants are broadcast live to cinemas across the country. Meaning you can see Benedict Cumberbatch perform soliloquies at your local cinema, and enjoy a spot of Carmen with some popcorn. Most events are only screened once so diaries at the ready for our pick of some top event cinema.
Royal Opera: William Tell/Guillaume Tell
Rossini’s final opera, a story of Swiss revolution against Austrian revolt containing the infamous apple shooting scene, is adapted from a drama of the same name by Friedrich Schiller. This contemporary production for The Royal Opera, directed by Damiano Michieletto, is the company's first since 1990. William Tell is described by the Royal Opera House as ‘harmonically daring and fiercely difficult for the singers’. It is sung in French with English subtitles.
Select cinemas, Sun 5 Jul.
Royal Shakespeare Company: Othello
Hugh Quarshie (Holby City, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace) plays the great Moorish general in this Royal Shakespeare Company production with Lucian Msamati (Game of Thrones) in the role of Iago. It is the first time Quarshie has treaded the RSC boards since the 1996 production of Julius Caesar. Directed by Iqbal Khan the play is staged at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon during the summer months and will be broadcast live in the final days of the of the run.
Select cinemas, Wed 26 Aug.
Royal Ballet: Carmen Quadruple Bill
A treat for ballet buffs or a varied introduction for dance novices, this production by the Royal Ballet offers four one-act ballets. Carmen is a dramatic tale of jealousy, desire and revenge choreographed by the lead dancer; Viscera is an intense and dynamic ballet choreographed by Liam Scarlett; Afternoon of a Faun tells the story of two dancers who are totally absorbed by their own reflections, and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux is a stunning eight-minute display of ballet technique, set to a snippet of Tschaikovky’s celebrated score from Swan Lake.
Select cinemas, Thu 8 Oct.
Theatre Live: The Importance of Being Earnest
David Suchet (Poirot) stars as the fearsome Lady Bracknel in this West End production of Oscar Wilde’s comedy classic. The cast is completed by Philip Cumbus as Algernon Moncrieff and Michael Benz (Downton Abbey) as John Worthing. Directed by Adrian Noble the show is broadcast live from London’s Vaudeville Theatre.
Select cinemas, Thu 8 Oct.
National Theatre Live: Hamlet
Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game, Sherlock) stars as the tortured Prince of Denmark in this bold take on Shakespeare's classic tragedy. He previously starred in the NT Live production of Frankenstein, directed by Danny Boyle, where himself and Tommy Lee Miller alternated the roles of Frankenstein and his monster. Hamlet is directed by Lyndsey Turner, the third female director ever to receive a Laurence Olivier Award (2014), for her production of Chimerica.
Select cinemas, Fri 9 Oct.
Other event cinema 2015 dates for your diary:
Globe On Screen: Comedy Of Errors, Thu 9 Jul
National Theatre Live: Everyman, Thu 16 Jul
Royal Shakespeare Company: The Merchant of Venice, Wed 22 Jul
National Theatre Live: The Beaux' Stratagem, Thu 3 Sep