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Macbeth, The British Council, Performing couples who tour

Arts news, interviews and reviews. Rufus Norris and Kit Monkman discuss Macbeth and Alastair Niven talks about the role of the British Council in diplomacy.

Macbeth is on at the National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera House, and there will be at least 15 more Macbeths at theatres and festivals around the country this year. Rufus Norris, director of the National's production, and Kit Monkman, who has made the latest film version, discuss why Shakespeare's play has such urgent appeal today.

The British Council has been in the news because Moscow has shut down its activities in Russia. But what does the Council actually do? Alastair Niven, who was for four years Director of Literature at the British Council, explains its work, significance and why it sometimes falls foul of certain regimes.

As music superstar partners Beyoncé and Jay-Z announce details of their new joint tour, Front Row decided to examine the delights and drawbacks when artists, who are couples, hit the road together. John talks to comedian Francesca Martinez and her touring partner actor Kevin Hely, and married musical duo Cara Dillon and Sam Lakeman.

Available now

30 minutes


  • Macbeth

    Duration: 11:27

  • The British Council

    Duration: 05:38

  • Performing couples who tour

    Duration: 10:21

Macbeth the film

Macbeth the film

Kit Monkman's film of Macbeth is in UK cinemas now, certificate 15.

Images: Main image above: Mark Rowley as Macbeth

Image to the left:  Mark Rowley as Macbeth and Akiya Henry as Lady Macbeth

Images credit: Ben Bentley


The National Theatre's Macbeth

The National Theatre's Macbeth

Rufus Norris's production of Macbeth is at the Olivier, National Theatre, London until 23 June 2018.

There is a nationwide live cinema broadcast by National Theatre Live on 10 May 2018.

The production tours UK and Ireland starting at the Lowry,Salford on 29 September - 06 October 2018, and visiting Plymouth Edinburgh, Norwich, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Sheffield, Bath, Oxford, Dublin, Nottingham, Hull, Canterbury, Glasgow, Southampton, Belfast and Wolverhampton, ending in Cardiff  on 19 - 23 March 2019.

Image: Anne-Marie Duff as Lady Macbeth and Rory Kinnear as Macbeth

Image credit: Brinkhoff Mogenburg

The British Council

Find out more about the British Council's work from its website

Performing couples who tour: Francesca Martinez and Kevin Hely

Performing couples who tour: Francesca Martinez and Kevin Hely

Francesca Martinez is the producer of The Rose of Jericho by Alex Martinez, in which Kevin Hely stars.

It is at The Art House, Southampton on 19 & 20 May 2018; and the Theatre Uptairs, Dublin, from 28 May - 09 June 2018.

They also perform together in a new R4 drama, How We’re Loved - written by Francesca Martinez. It will be broadcast on 12 April 2018.


Image: Francesca Martinez on stage with Kevin Hely

Image credit: Sarah Lee



Performing couples who tour: Cara Dillon and Seth Lakeman

Performing couples who tour: Cara Dillon and Seth Lakeman

The UK an Ireland leg of Cara Diilon's tour, in which she is accompanied by Seth Lakeman starts on 19 April 2018 at the Gala Theatre, Durham.

Then it goes via Preston, Shoreham, Honiton, Newbury, Havant, Southwell, Derry, Bromsgrove, Colchester, Chipping Norton, Sevenoaks, Sidmouth, Stogumber, Southport, Morecambe, Cambridge, and ends in Milgavie on 09 November 2018.

Image: Cara Dillon singing at the R2 Folk Awards with Seth Lakeman at the piano.




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