Broadcast live from the National Theatre, Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo play Shakespeare’s famous fated couple in his great tragedy of politics, passion and power. Caesar and his assassins are dead. General Mark Antony now rules alongside his fellow defenders of Rome. But at the fringes of a war-torn empire the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and Mark Antony have fallen fiercely in love. In a tragic fight between devotion and duty, obsession becomes a catalyst for war.
A ship is wrecked on the rocks. Viola is washed ashore but her twin brother Sebastian is lost. Determined to survive on her own, she steps out to explore a new land. So begins a whirlwind of mistaken identity and unrequited love. The nearby households of Olivia and Orsino are overrun with passion. Even Olivia's upright housekeeper Malvolia is swept up in the madness. Where music is the food of love, and nobody is quite what they seem, anything proves possible.
The ‘Beaux’: Mr Aimwell and Mr Archer, two charming, dissolute young men who have blown their fortunes in giddy London. Shamed and debt-ridden, they flee to provincial Lichfield. Their ‘Stratagem’: to marry for money. Lodged at the local inn, posing as master and servant, they encounter a teeming variety of human obstacles: a crooked landlord, a fearsome highwayman, a fervent French Count, a maid on the make, a drunken husband, a furious butler, a natural healer and a strange, turbulent priest. But their greatest obstacle is love.
Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient, Schindler’s List, Oedipus at the National Theatre) plays Jack Tanner in this exhilarating reinvention of Shaw’s witty, provocative classic. Jack Tanner, celebrated radical thinker and rich bachelor, seems an unlikely choice as guardian to the alluring heiress, Ann. But she takes it in her assured stride and, despite the love of a poet, she decides to marry and tame his dazzling revolutionary.