Darbar Festival 2017

This year’s Darbar Festival of classical Indian music and dance marks the 70th anniversary of the republic’s independence. Among the highlights is a solo performance of the Kathak form of dance by choreographer and Sadler’s Well associate artist Akram Khan (9th November). Look out for vocalist Indrani Mukherjee on 10th November; and on the last nigh, Seeta Patel performs mesmerising dances from the rich Bharatanatyam tradition. From 9th to 12th November at Sadler’s Wells


Murder on the Orient Express

Between the wars, a dozen ladies and gentlemen of high society are trapped together on a days-long journey on the Orient Express, when the unthinkable happens. A man is found dead – murdered. Fortunately, it just so happens that the greatest detective in the world is on board; one by one Hercule Poirot begins shifting through the suspects…Kenneth Branagh directs and stars as a sleuth in a lavish adaptation of the Agatha Christie mystery. Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe and Derek Jacobi are just some of the names in this dazzling cast. Opens on 3rd November in the UK



“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” The cry of a TV newsreader on the verge of a nervous breakdown becomes some society-wide cri de Coeur in the 1976 film Network. Now the drama is brought to the stage in an adaptation by Lee Hall (Billy Elliott), directed by Ivo van Hove. But it’s the presence of Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston in the lead role as broadcaster Howard Beale that sets the seal of promise on a play that seems custom-made for our era of “fake news”. From 4th November at the National Theatre



Think of Paul Cézanne and what springs to mind are his transformative still-life and landscape paintings, works that proved a crucial bridge from Impressionism to the abstractions of the 20th century. But his unprecedented new exhibition – curated in conjunction with Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and Washington DC’s National Gallery of Art – demands that we reevaluate Cézanne as a portrait painter. The 50-plus paintings include a large number not seen before in the UK. In many of them, he depicted himself and his wife, Hortense, charting their changes over the decades. The other portraits, meanwhile, feature subjects including the retainer – Vallier – who loyally maintained Cézanne’s Provence garden, affectionately immortalised in oils. Until 11th February 2018 at the National Portrait Gallery


Nitto ATP Finals

The men’s tennis elite face each other during this week-long end-of-season tournament, with millions of dollars at stake on the indoor hard court. The top eight in the world are due to play; among those scheduled to appear are the eternally youthful Roger Federer – in what will be his 15th appearance in the tournament – and his long-standing rival, Raphael Nadal. Both are vying to pick up the crown that was claimed by Andy Murray last year. From 12th November to 19th November at the O2


A trio of November rugby union fixtures at Twickenham offers the prospect of three very different – but equally epic – clashes. In 22 tests between England and Argentina, the South Americans have won just four times. But with their powerful running game, the Pumas – fourth in the 2015 World Cup – should not be written off in the opener on the 11th. England v Australia (18th) pits old rivals against each other; long gone are the days of Aussie dominance, but underestimate the Wallabies at your peril. In contrast it would be a shock if England were to come unstuck against Samoa, but the Pacific Islanders’ courageous game is sure to provide some brilliant entertainment on the 25th of the month. 11th, 18th and 25th November at Twickenham Stadium


A LEGACY OF SPIES by John Le Carré

John Le Carré’s spymaster, George Smiley, has achieved that rare distinction of becoming a fictional character with a life of his own, both in print and on screen (played, variously, by Alec Guinness and Gary Oldman). The quietly spoken and intellectually peerless antithesis of James Bond returns in Le Carré’s latest novel. The past returns to haunt the present as top-secret details of Cold War battles in which Smiley played a pivotal role come under scrutiny at the highest levels of government. Available from Waterstones

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