The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Record Breaker - At the American Music Awards, Taylor Swift was presented with the Artist of the Decade award by singer-songwriter Carole King who commended Swift for the strength of her lyrics, and the relatability of her music, predicting: "The best is yet to come." In turn, Swift acknowledged the impact King's music had had on her parents and her family, saying it was every musician's goal "to create something that will last".
The career-spanning honour wasn't Swift's only award at the ceremony - she picked up another five competitive awards, including artist of the year. That brings her total tally of AMA trophies to 29 - breaking a record held by Michael Jackson, who received 24 American Music Awards.
Secondary Ticketing - Andrew Lloyd Webber is joining forces with ticket resellers Twickets in a bid to beat touts. The theatrical grandee, whose LW playhouses include The London Palladium and the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, hopes the move will bring consumer-friendly ticket resale to the West End.
The new system means unwanted tickets bought at the box office can be resold for no more than the original price. Twickets will also add a fee of 10% to 13% of the face value. Rebecca Kane Burton, CEO at LW Theatres said: "We continue to strive to not only offer our customers an incredible experience, but also help them when things don't go to plan. Providing a safe, secure and easy way to resell tickets is best practice and yet another step LW Theatres is taking to innovate and improve theatre-going."
Twickets launched in 2015 as a more ethical ticketing company, helping fans get into concerts by the likes of Adele and Arctic Monkeys, but this is their first official tie-in with a UK theatre group. "The UK is in the midst of a market shift away from rip-off secondary ticketing platforms and towards capped consumer-friendly resale services," said Twickets' founder Richard Davies.
Touring Benefits - Ian McKellen has urged theatre makers to “insist on working up and down the country” to ensure regional audiences have access to the best theatre. His comments were made during a speech at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2019 at the London Coliseum. McKellen won the editor’s award for his On Stage tour, which saw the actor visit more than 80 theatres with the profits from the shows going to support causes at each venue.
McKellen argued that both the amount of regional productions and tours across the UK had plummeted since he began acting. “When I started acting, each major city and town in this country had its own local, subsidised theatre, where a resident company presented a changing programme of plays throughout the year. Our commercial productions used to tour before they reached London, and, if successful, after their West End runs. Then the cheaper system of previews came about, and so that too went.”
Carbon Footprints - Leading producing theatres in London have reduced their average carbon footprint by 43% in the last five years, a report has revealed. The London Theatre Consortium report outlines the results of a decade-long programme to reduce carbon emissions. The consortium is a collaboration between 14 producing theatres in the capital, including the Almeida, Lyric Hammersmith, Royal Court, Young Vic, Bush, Unicorn, Yard theatres, and green arts charity Julie’s Bicycle.
Key findings from the Creative Green strategic report for 2018/19 include: Theatres in the consortium reduced their carbon footprint by 11% in the last year; overall energy use has decreased by a third since 2010; eight LTC theatres procure 100% renewable electricity, and more than half of LTC theatres have programmed or curated work with environmental themes this year.
The report adds that the LTC is developing a new set of aims to work towards for 2025, which includes exploring the potential to achieve net-zero carbon emissions across the group. This follows news that the Royal Court has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions over the course of the next year.
York Festival - Lionel Richie, Westlife and Madness will headline the first ever York Festival. The line-up for the three-day music festival has been unveiled, with support acts including Take That’s Howard Donald, All Saints, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Scouting for Girls. York Sports Club, at Clifton Park, will host the music showcase in June.
Nigel Durham, trustee of the sports club and chairman of York Cricket Club, based at the site, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the first York Festival – a major new event for the city of York. An historic city the size and stature of ours truly deserves a high-profile music festival like this. And to be attracting such massive stars as Lionel Richie, Westlife and Madness is just brilliant.”
(Jim Evans)
26 November 2019

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