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From Juliette Binoche to the Met Opera, don't miss these cultural treats at the arts centre...

THEATRE: Binoche is back! Oscar winner Juliette Binoche returns to the Barbican for a contemporary version of Sophocles's Greek tragedy Antigone in March 2015. The French actress, who starred in The English Patient and Chocolat was in EC1 in 2012 for a production of Strindberg's Mademoiselle Julie (pictured) at the Barbican. The play runs from 4-28 March. Meanwhile, the on-sale date for Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch has been confirmed as 11 August. It runs from 6 August to 31 October, 2015, but tickets are likely to sell out quickly.


POP: As they approach their quarter-century, it's clear Saint Etienne were smarter than their (now-forgotten) pop contemporaries. Bob Stanley has even written an acclaimed history of modern pop, Yeah Yeah Yeah. Despite their Gallic moniker, Saint Etienne are a London band who once made a Clerkenwell concept album: Tales From Turnpike House was inspired by the tower block in Goswell Road. For their latest project, they've teamed up with filmmaker Paul Kelly for How We Used to Live, an evocative film (and soundtrack) that draws on the BFI archive of post-war London. Look out for EC1 locations on film at the 13 September screening. Saint Etienne will also perform new songs and rarities.

OPERA: You don't have to cross the Atlantic to experience the Metropolitan Opera as it happens. The Met's series of live transmissions in HD will be screened at the Barbican's Cinema 1 (less stuffy than a night at the opera) from October 2014 to April 2015. Met Opera Live begins with Verdi's Macbeth on 11 October, followed by Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (18 October) and Bizet's Carmen (1 November). In 2015, the Met series will also feature Lehar's The Merry Widow, Bartók's Duke Bluebeard's Castle and Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana.


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