The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 14 June 2022
Rural Theatre - Theatre companies working in rural Northern Ireland will benefit from the creation of a £1.5m fund set up to cater for local communities that might not otherwise have access to the arts.
The Rural Engagement Arts Programme, announced by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, is designed to tackle isolation and loneliness, and promote social inclusion among rural communities as the country emerges from the pandemic. It has been given National Lottery funding over three years and will provide grants of up to £10,000 each to community groups, arts organisations and rural local authorities delivering arts projects.
Roisin McDonough, chief executive of the Arts Council, said the "vital" new funding programme would help realise "meaningful arts activities" that could enrich the lives of the people that engaged with them. "We know that taking part in arts activities can raise self-esteem, boost confidence and motivation, as well as alleviate isolation and loneliness. The pandemic and the resulting lockdowns across the UK have taken a toll on individual lives, with mental health and well-being adversely effected as families and friends were separated for sustained periods of time, especially intergenerational. This has been particularly compounded in rural communities, which are characterised by smaller and more dispersed populations," McDonough said.
COVID Cancellations - Mick Jagger tested positive for COVID-19, prompting The Rolling Stones to cancel a performance in Amsterdam. The band said the show at the Johan Cruijff Arena would be rescheduled and that they were "deeply sorry". Sir Mick, 78, added in a message to fans: “Thank you for your patience and understanding.” The band are currently on their Sixty tour, where they had planned to play 14 shows in 10 European countries.
Manic Street Preachers have had to cancel their outdoor Peterborough show after the lead singer James Dean Bradfield tested positive for COVID. The rock band were due to perform on Peterborough Embankment on Sunday as part of their summer shows. Promoter Mark Harrison said he was "devastated" but needed to "prioritise the health and safety of our artists, staff and guests".
Curve’s new production of Billy Elliot has pushed its start date back by a week following cases of Covid-19 among the company. The musical was due to begin previews on 7 July, however the Leicester theatre has delayed this until 12 July 1to make up for a week of lost rehearsals.
Time Out - Billie Eilish briefly paused her show at London's O2 arena on Saturday after several fans got into difficulties in sweltering temperatures. “Are you all ok?" she asked. “People were fainting and getting pulled out. It's hot, I know”. After fans said they were "squished", she halted the music until the pressure in front of the stage eased. "Take a step back, give everybody some space," Eilish said. "If someone looks a little woozy, just tell someone." Earlier, Eilish had asked the O2 security team to distribute water to the audience.
Bridge Musical - An "immersive" production of Guys and Dolls has been announced as the first musical to be presented at the Bridge Theatre in London. Directed by the Bridge’s artistic director Nicholas Hytner, the musical will run from 27 February to 2 September 2023. The Bridge said in a statement: “Join us for Guys and Dolls as the Bridge transforms for one of the greatest musicals of all time.”
(Jim Evans)
14 June 2022

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