THE London Philharmonic Orchestra performs at The Anvil on Wednesday, 17 October with Benjamin Grosvenor on piano and conductor Alondra de la Parra joining the orchestra.

The evening begins with Glinka’s fizzing, exuberant overture to his opera Ruslan and Ludmilla. This is followed by Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto, which was a breakthrough piece after years of creative block. Its passionate and lyrical character has deservedly made it a favourite amongst his works.

Finally, Dvořàk’s Eighth Symphony was written at his house in the depths of rural Bohemia and is full of the spirit of Czech folksong and the countryside, building to an exuberant finale driven by whooping horn calls.

The Russian State Ballet and Opera House presents Swan Lake at The Anvil on Thursday. 18 October, complete with live orchestra.

After the sell-out performance of The Nutcracker last year, the Russian State Ballet and Opera House is back for another spellbinding, lavish, full-production ballet.

One-hundred-and-thirty-five years ago, audiences heard Swan Lake by the great Russian composer Tchaikovsky for the very first time. From that moment on, the world of ballet would never be the same.

Swan Lake is the compelling tale of a tragic romance in which Princess Odette is turned into a swan by an evil curse.

Prince Siegfried chances upon a flock of swans whilst out hunting. When one of the swans turns into a beautiful young woman he is instantly captivated. Will his love prove strong enough to break the evil spell that she is under?

From hope to despair, from melancholy to ecstasy, Swan Lake journeys through a range of emotions.

Former MP, and successful columnist and television presenter, Michael Portillo comes to The Anvil on Friday, 19 October with Life: A Game of Two Halves.

It took Michael little more than ten years to get a seat in the Commons and then rise in power and esteem to a point where he was a favoured leader of his party.

Since leaving the House, he has made a number of television programmes for BBC2 including Art that shook the world: Richard Wagner’s Ring, Portillo in Euroland, Elizabeth I in the series Great Britons, When Michael Portillo became a single mum, Portillo Goes Wild in Spain and The Science of Killing (for Horizon). For BBC4 he has made several series of Dinner with Portillo, a discussion programme. He has made 100 programmes in the series Great British Railway Journeys and Great Continental Railway Journeys for BBC2.

For six years he was a weekly columnist on The Sunday Times and was the theatre critic of The New Statesman between 2004 and 2006.

A historian at heart, Michael has endeared himself to many with his obvious respect for solid workmanship and creative energy as found in our great Victorian railways and the daily life of ordinary hard working citizens.

This is your chance to listen to his story, told with a ‘parliamentary stand up’ wit, and then ask him questions about it.

For more information or for tickets, visit or call the Anvil Arts box office on 01256 844244.