WHAT'S ON

DOWNTON ABBEY

Fri 27th September to Thurs 3rd October
The television series Downton Abbey followed the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who worked for them at the turn of the 20th century in an Edwardian English country house

BILLY CONNOLLY: THE SEX LIFE OF BANDAGES

Thurs 10th October
Hailed as the UK’s most influential comedian of all time, legendary Scot Billy Connolly is coming to cinemas with this brilliant show from his final stand-up tour. Recorded in 2015, during the Australian leg, this whip smart routine is a riotous journey filled with outrageous tales and blistering observations of everyday absurdities. Screening as a special one-night-only event, Connolly will also muse upon his career, life and legacy in a deeply personal interview filmed exclusively for cinema audiences.

NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

Thurs 17th October
Shakespeare’s most famous romantic comedy will be captured live from the Bridge Theatre in London in summer 2019. Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Oliver Chris (Green Wing, NT Live: Young Marx), David Moorst (NT Live: Allelujah!) and Hammed Animashaun (The Barber Shop Chronicles) lead the cast as Titania, Oberon, Puck and Bottom.

ROYAL OPERA: DON PASQUALE

Thurs 24th October
Royal Opera favourite Bryn Terfel heads the cast for this new production of Donizetti’s comedy of domestic drama across two generations. The witty story of a middle-aged man whose supposed young wife runs rings around him – with her own ulterior romantic purpose in mind – has long delighted and surprised audiences, not least as presented with the sparkle of its music and the virtuoso skill of its performers. Damiano Michieletto’s exhilarating production shows how contemporary the characters still are and how immediate and touching the story remains.

NORTHERN BALLET: DRACULA

Thurs 31st October
With darkly Gothic sets and costumes, Northern Ballet is resurrecting Bram Stoker’s classic horror story for special LIVE screenings in cinemas this Halloween. ​​The haunting tale of passion and immortality is played out through ​a unique blend of sensuous dancing​ and​ gripping theatre​ – ​this is ballet with a dramatic bite​.

ROYAL OPERA: DON GIOVANNI

Tues 8th October
Sexual intrigue, jealousy, wit, anger… and retribution! The new Royal Opera Season begins with Mozart’s engaging masterpiece, which follows Don Giovanni, the women he serially seduces, and the vengeance that finally catches up with him. The opera is renowned for its ever-shifting portrayals of complex characters, fast-moving action and mix of the comic and the heartfelt. A cast of international singers – both familiar and making Royal Opera debuts – under conductor Hartmut Haenchen perform the glorious arias and ensembles of this opera favourite.

NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE: HANSARD

Thurs 7th November
See Olivier Award-winners, Lindsay Duncan (Birdman, About Time) and Alex Jennings (The Lady in the Van, The Queen), in this brand new play from Simon Wood, broadcast live from the National Theatre in London.

42ND STREET: THE MUSICAL

Sun 10th November
The largest ever production of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical theatre spectacular. Filmed live at the magnificent Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London’s West End in 2018. A tap-dancing, show-stopping extravaganza – winner of 4 WhatsOnStage Awards.

RSC LIVE: TIMON OF ATHENS

Thurs 21st November
In a world driven by greed, what do we truly value? Timon has it all – money, influence, friends. But when the money runs out, Timon soon finds her influence and friends have also gone. Left alone, she flees Athens to take refuge in the woods, cursing the city she once loved. Featuring a “searing central performance” (Guardian) from award-winning actor, Kathryn Hunter, Timon of Athens is a glittering and biting satire on whether money truly buys happiness.

NT LIVE: PRESENT LAUGHTER

Thurs 28th November
Matthew Warchus directs Andrew Scott (BBC’s Sherlock, Fleabag) in Noël Coward’s provocative comedy Present Laughter. Captured live from The Old Vic in London, Present Laughter is a giddy and surprisingly modern reflection on fame, desire and loneliness. Note this production is filmed in front of a live audience, rather than broadcast live.

ROYAL BALLET: THE NUTCRACKER

Tues 17 December
The Royal Ballet’s glorious production of The Nutcracker, created by Peter Wright in 1984, is the production par excellence of an all-time ballet favourite. It is Christmas Eve and Herr Drosselmeyer the magician sweeps young Clara away on a fantasy adventure in which time is suspended, the family living-room becomes a great battlefield, and a magical journey takes them through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets. Tchaikovsky’s glittering score, the gorgeous festive stage designs, and The Royal Ballet’s captivating dancing including an exquisite pas de deux between the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince, make this Nutcracker the quintessential Christmas experience.