The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 22 June 2021
No Guidance - Organisers of the Kendal Calling festival have blamed the government's "complete absence of any guidance" for their decision to cancel again. It had been due to take place at Lowther Deer Park in Cumbria from 29 July to 1 August after cancelling in 2020 due to the pandemic. Promoter Andy Smith said a delay in publishing research from national pilot events had made planning impossible.
Stereophonics, Supergrass, The Streets and Dizzee Rascal were set to headline. About 25,000 people were expected to attend the four-day music and arts festival. The promoter said there had been a "complete absence of any guidance" from the government, adding: "The fear for us is we build a festival and we find out on, say, 21 July we have to double the size of our campsites or something. We don't know what that could be, it could be anything. It's a complete unknown."
He said the 25,000-capacity event sold out in "record time" in February showing "how much people were looking forward to enjoying a sense of joy and community".
Off The Road - The National Theatre is unlikely to mount another global tour until 2024 or 2025 because of the travel restrictions caused by the pandemic, the head of its commercial productions arm has warned.
Kash Bennett, managing director of National Theatre Productions, said consecutive touring weeks – when a production remains on the road as opposed to returning to the UK between some dates – will be the biggest issue facing international touring for years to come and could prevent work visiting far-away locations.
Bennett said: “We’re looking a long way out for consecutive touring weeks now because the lead times were already pretty long: 18 months to two years for international touring. Some [countries] still have closed borders, and we don’t know when some places are going to be open at all, or how it’s going to be when they do. For our next big international tour, we’re currently looking at 2024/25, and I don’t think we will realistically be able to get a big global tour together before then.”
Undervalued - Andrew Lloyd Webber has rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson's offer to add his new musical Cinderella to a pilot scheme for full-capacity live events. The PM said earlier this week he was in talks with the theatre impresario. But Lord Lloyd-Webber said on Friday the theatre industry had been treated as "an afterthought and undervalued".
Last week, he said he was determined to open his show to a full house on 25 June, even if he risked being arrested. However, he has now rowed back on that. On Monday, the government confirmed that it would not lift all Covid restrictions until at least 19 July. After rejecting the option to be one of the official pilot events, Lord Lloyd-Webber confirmed the show would open next week with a 50% capacity, the current legal limit.
If he did open with a full theatre, it "would be very likely that every member of my cast, crew and orchestra, the front and backstage staff, plus our loyal audience members, could be individually fined £500, which I couldn't possibly risk", he said. "If it were just me, I would happily risk arrest and fines to make a stand and lead the live music and theatre industry back to the full capacities we so desperately need."
Bat On The Road - Bat Out of Hell – The Musical will tour the UK later this year. The show will begin performances on September 11 at Manchester Opera House and is scheduled to run until November 2022. It will play at venues including New Wimbledon Theatre, the Alexandra in Birmingham and the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield. It is currently set to run until 5 November, when it plays at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking.
Producer Michael Cohl said: “We’ve all been through a lot these past 15 months and we now need a really good night out with friends and family. Bat Out Of Hell – the Musical will give you the most fun night you can have in the UK and Ireland this year. People will once again be able to dance and sing along to these great Jim Steinman songs.” He added: “This musical was Jim Steinman’s life-long dream and he was incredibly proud of the love the show received from critics and audiences alike. This tour will be in memory of Jim.”
Baritone Rules - The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition has been won by baritone Gihoon Kim. COVID rules meant audiences were not allowed at this year's competition at the city's St David's Hall. Held to mark the hall's opening in 1983, the competition has launched the careers of some of the biggest names in opera, such as Sir Bryn Terfel. The winner took £20,000 in prize money and the Cardiff Trophy at the event which is held every two years. "It has been an inspiring journey - and one that I will definitely remember for the rest of my career," said the winner..
(Jim Evans)
22 June 2021

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