THE FIRST production in the Royal National Theatre's latest booking season is Shakespeare's tragedy of doomed love, Antony and Cleopatra. Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman (right) play the sensuous Cleopatra and the noble Antony in a tale which examines political events on an epic scale. Both are making their debut at the National, with Mirren bringing her experience in a range of Shakespearean roles in BBC adaptations to bear. Directed by Sean Mathias.
Olivier Theatre, Royal National Theatre, South Bank, SE1 (0171-452 3000) opens 12 Oct
THE FORMER Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown launched his solo career earlier this year with three top-20 singles from the Unfinished Monkey Business album. Since then, he has successfully re-entered the live arena at this summer's festivals. He embarks on a tour with a band which includes former Roses' guitarist Aziz Abrahim and support from Audioweb.
Aberdeen Music Hall (01224 620011) 13 Nov; Norwich UEA (01603 505401) 21 Nov; Leeds University (01132 445570) 28 Nov; Manchester Ritz (0161- 832 1111) 1 Dec; London Astoria (0171-434 0403) 2-3 Dec