Diary February 2017Opera, film & theatre

2017-02-01
Culture

FILM Jackie

The world fell in love with Jackie Kennedy, the First Lady with the style and looks of a film star. Then her life changed forever. Natalie Portman gives a brilliant performance as the grieving widow reeling from the assassination of JFK in 1963. As Chilean director Pablo Larraín plunges us into the maelstrom of emotion and confusion at the White House, Portman’s compelling portrayal of Kennedy’s bravery and grace is likely to make her a contender for another Best Actress Oscar. Opens on 20th January in the UK

THEATRE Hedda Gabler

Up there with Hamlet and Uncle Vanya, Hedda Gabler is a coveted, but challenging, role. Henrik Ibsen’s portrait of a young woman just married, but mired in alienation and disillusion, exploded on the theatre world in 1891, and has lost none of its power. Now, having established her screen credentials in Jane Eyre, Luther and The Affair, Ruth Wilson returns to the stage in a scintillating modern version from playwright Patrick Marber (Closer), co-starring Rafe Spall and directed by Ivo van Hove in his National Theatre debut. Until 11th February at the National Theatre

FILM Denial

From acclaimed playwright David Hare comes this powerful true tale of one woman fighting to preserve history. Rachel Weisz stars as US academic Deborah Lipstadt, while Timothy Spall plays David Irving, the far-right British Historian who sued her for libel after she accused him of denying the facts of the Holocaust. The eyes of the world are on a London court as the case becomes a moral battleground, and Weisz’s heroine will stop at nothing to win – not for herself, but on behalf of the millions whose fate is being contested. Opens on 27th January in the UK

OPERA Adriana Lecouvreur

Even by standards of Italian opera, Adriana Lecouvreur is a heady brew of heartbreak and tragedy. Actress Adriana is adored by 18th-century Parisian society (and state manager Michonnet). But she cares only for Maurizio, the Count of Saxony. He loves her, too, but their relationship is complicated by his past lover – and doomed by a seed of suspicion that grows in her heart and will not let her go. Composed by Francesco Cilea – a contemporary of Puccini – this emotionally satisfying opera features dramatic arias and gives soprano Angela Gheorghiu a role worthy of her charisma and talent. From 7th February to 2nd March at The Royal Opera House

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