The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 7 January 2020
Fire Damage - North London music venue Koko has been damaged by fire. The London fire brigade said it was called to the scene in Camden, in north London, shortly before 9pm on Monday night (6 January). About a third of the roof of the venue, which in previous incarnations was known as The Music Machine and Camden Palace, was alight as firefighters tried to save the rest of the building. The former theatre is covered in scaffolding as part of a renovation. The venue was due to reopen in spring 2020 after a “major state-of-the-art” refurbishment, after the purchase of two adjacent buildings.
Royalty Cheque - Bohemian Rhapsody's success at the box office in 2018 was replicated in the living room last year. The Freddie Mercury biopic was the biggest home video of 2019, selling 1.7m copies in the UK. Two-thirds of those copies were on DVD or Blu-Ray, with the rest coming from downloads.
Overall, UK consumer spending on video grew by 9.5%, making it the fastest-growing entertainment sector, fuelled by the popularity of streaming. Data compiled by the ERA (Entertainment Retailers Association) shows that physical video sales - which include DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K UHD - decreased from £616.9m in 2018 to £477.2m last year, a drop of 22.6%. “There is no doubt retailers of physical product had a tough time in 2019,” said the Entertainment Retailers Association's CEO Kim Bayley.
United Queendom - Kensington Palace will host an immersive theatrical experience for the first time next month. The building will showcase Les Enfants Terribles’ production of United Queendom, which tells the story of a historical royal love triangle. It will use 14 rooms in the palace, including the state apartments, to create the theatrical experience.
The production staff will have 90 minutes to transform the venue once it has closed to the public, and will open after hours for the production, which runs from 28 February until 30 March 30. The performance will have 11 characters, based on real life historical figures from George I’s court, and will explore the relationship between the king, his wife Queen Caroline and his mistress Lady Henrietta Howard.
The company’s creative director, James Seager, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be let loose in the palace after closing time to bring a modern twist to history and to re-introduce two women who have such modern influences and parallels to the world we live in today. They refused to back down in a male dominated world, refused to be silenced and refused to bow to tradition.”
Cabin Baggage - Flybe has backtracked on changes to its baggage policy for small musical instruments following criticism that the rules would have a serious impact on touring musicians.
A statement from the airline said: “We have listened to the concerns voiced recently by a number of musicians wishing to travel with those smaller instruments that do not necessarily conform to the stated cabin baggage sizes. To understand how we might fairly and safely accommodate their specific needs within the remits of our policy and the regulatory requirements to which we must comply, we have reviewed the situation.”
(Jim Evans)
7 January 2020

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