Early Closing - Peter Pan, the opening production at the Troubadour White City Theatre in west London, will close nearly two months earlier than planned, producers have announced. Sally Cookson’s devised adaptation of the JM Barrie novel began performances at the theatre in July and will have played for just six of the scheduled 14 weeks when it closes on 1 September.
A statement from the producers said: “The production received acclaim from critics and a hugely positive reaction from audiences, however due to ticket sales, we have reluctantly taken the decision to close in September. We’d like to thank our wonderfully talented cast and creative team for all of their hard work, as well as the audiences who have enjoyed the production.”
The production is the first show to play at Troubadour White City, one of two new theatres that were launched last month by the team behind the King’s Cross Theatre. The White City venue is situated on part of the former BBC Media Village, while the second theatre, Troubadour Wembley Park, is located in the former Fountain television studios.
Last Christmas - An unreleased, six-minute song from the late George Michael will feature in a new movie loosely based on his music. Last Christmas, released later this year, is set to star Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding and Emma Thompson. Its director Paul Feig told BBC News: "[George Michael] was putting together his new album when he passed. And one of our tracks is one of those songs, and it's just an absolutely amazing song that I'm so exc
UK - Kent-based stage engineering company Triple E has named Lucy Edelstein as deputy director and appointed Tokyo Velludo Co as its distributor for Japan.
This expansion of Triple E’s international distributor network ties in with the longer term aim to increase worldwide representation across key territories, as well as expanding the company’s sub-contract precision engineering services, an aspect of the business which has been reinforced with the acquisition of Thorley Engineering.
“Lucy has been brought in to carry Triple E forward as myself and Brenda begin to step back from the business,” explains Tripple E’s David Edelstein. “After spending three years working in many different parts of the company Lucy has taken on the role of director, deputising for Brenda and myself when we are not in the office. We are delighted as Lucy has already made significant changes and improvements to our overall infrastructure. Together, we have taken steps to future-proof the business and develop some big ideas for Triple E’s future.”
“A major part of my new role as deputy director is to address business development and the organic growth of our current business whilst also exploring new avenues and potential distributors in new markets, as well as streamlining the business and the way we do things,” says Lucy.
Lucy has also been instrumental in the recent appointment of Tokyo Velludo Co. as Japanese distributor for Triple E. Established over 70 years ago, this Japanese theatre and performing arts supplier has been an end user of Tri
Tax Relief - Nearly 3,400 productions benefitted from £78m worth of theatre tax relief last year, new statistics show. This represents a £1m increase on the total figure paid out in 2017/18, however the number of individual productions benefitting from tax credits increased by 13% in the same period.
Theatre tax relief, which was introduced in 2014, allows touring shows to claim back 25% on eligible costs. All other productions can be reimbursed for 20%. In the first year of the scheme, £15m was paid out, rising to £46m in the second year and £77m in 2017/18.
Statistics published by HM Revenue and Customs for 2018/19 reveal there were a total of 930 claims, representing 3,380 productions, of which 950 were touring and 2,430 non-touring. A single claim can request tax relief for multiple productions.
Financial secretary to the treasury, Jesse Norman, said: “The arts and creative industries make a vital contribution to the UK economy. These tax reliefs have helped support some astonishing and exciting work again this year, celebrating the very best of British culture.”
Famous Footsteps - Beatlemania returned to Abbey Road, 50 years on from the camera clicking on the image that would go on to become one of the most famous album covers ever created. Tribute act Fab Gear followed in the footsteps of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison to re-enact the zebra crossing photograph as about 2,500 fans cheered them on. Traffic stopped, musicians played and sang Beatles hits.
Fans travelled from all over the w
Europe - Adam Hall Group’s Experience Centre has won an Iconic Award for Company Building.
Designed by M&P Architekten and Stilbruch United Designers, the Neu-Anspach-based building functions as an open space for both employees and business customers. Unveiled in 2018 (see LSi July 2018), it features a showroom, a large auditorium for live shows and product demos, a restaurant, the Adam Hall Academy, various measuring rooms, test rigs and development laboratories, and 3D prototyping facilities.
Alexander Pietschmann, CEO and managing director of the Adam Hall Group, comments: “Our goal for the Experience Centre is to give more people the opportunity to implement their creative ideas in a modern environment with state-of-the-art technology. Since its opening, the centre has been a place for connection and sharing great moments - connecting business customers, partners, associations and our employees in an integrated manner. We are delighted and honoured to be presented with this award given for the overall concept.”
Organised by the German Design Council, the Iconic Awards recognise “the best innovative achievements” in architecture, interior design, product design and brand communication sectors. Judged by a jury of architects, last year’s competition received 680 entries from 34 countries.
The 2019 awards ceremony is taking place on 7 October at the Pinakoth
World Record - Ed Sheeran’s Divide Tour has been named the highest-grossing tour of all time, breaking a record set by U2 that had stood for eight years. Coming off the back of the chart-topping album of the same name, the Divide tour began in March 2017, and will have encompassed 255 shows when it finishes with four homecoming gigs in Ipswich later this month. So far it has grossed $736m (£607m), breaking U2’s record of $735m, with 12 dates still left to play.
It has also been named the most attended tour of all time: when it finishes, more than 8.5m people across 43 countries will have seen Sheeran perform, breaking U2’s record of 7.3m.
Writing on Instagram, Sheeran said: “Thanks so much for each and every one of you who have come to a show. 12 shows left, will never forget it.” Sheeran’s manager Stuart Camp told Pollstar, who amassed the tour data: “What Ed has accomplished is truly incredible - to even be in the same ballpark as [U2] or spoken in the same sentence with a touring act like that is very humbling.”
U2’s record was set in 2011 by their 110-date 360° tour. Rather than focusing on stadiums as U2 did, Sheeran has included more intimate arenas - his average concert attendance is 34,541, around half U2’s 66,091 average. He also rejected VIP areas and sold tickets at a relatively low price, 14.2% lower on average than U2’s, but the sheer number of dates has ensured the record was broken nonetheless.
Immersive Future - West End producer Hartshorn-Hook has unveiled an ambitious plan to become “the futu
UK - Penn Elcom has introduced a new solution for scenarios where space or access is limited. Suitable for commercial, industrial and residential environments, the R6400-RHF double-hinged wall mount rack enclosure joins the company’s range of 19” rack products.
The new model enables the full rack to securely swing away from the wall, giving technicians and installation engineers excellent access to the rear and sides of the rack and the kit inside of it. The design simplifies the process of running cables, replacing parts or performing regular maintenance and can dramatically reduce the time taken to access the equipment.
Built from rugged but lightweight steel to Penn’s industrial grade specifications, the bracket is reversible so the rack can be configured as left or right opening for full flexibility and space maximisation.
Heavy-duty hinges allow the R6400-RHF to be loaded with up to 50kg (110lb) of equipment, and a handy slam-lock system creates smart open / close functionality.
As with all Penn Elcom racking products, the R6400-RHF offers practical and integrated cable management, with both top and bottom 1U cable knockouts as well as full length internal rack rails.
The R6400-RHF is suitable for a range of applications, from professional entertainment and leisure installations to any spaces utilising IT hubs and servers.
UK - A group of industry colleagues are set to cycle 100 miles across the UK to Olympia London on 14th September (Saturday) to raise money for the entertainment industry charities Backup and StageHand.
Organised by PLASA and the Production Services Association (PSA), the initiative follows on from the success of last year’s bike ride, when industry representatives rode from Chippenham in Wiltshire to London Olympia on the Saturday before the PLASA Show.
This year's challenge will follow a similar route, starting at Chippenham's Premier Inn and finishing at Olympia. Those interested in taking part should contact PLASA's Nicola Rye (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Peter Heath, PLASA MD, comments: “The 100 mile bike ride has become somewhat of an annual tradition, raising awareness and money for a valued industry charity. With mental health remaining a prevalent issue, the money raised will be put towards tackling this in the industry. We are calling for more cyclists to sign up for the challenge and support this worthy cause.”
Last year’s team consisted of representatives from PLASA, PSA, White Light, Autograph, UK Rigging, Harman, SFL, Anthem Publishing and Real Marketing Services, each reporting a great sense of camaraderie throughout the journey. Together, the group raised over £1,600.
Cultural Affairs - Nicky Morgan has been appointed culture secretary by new prime minister, Boris Johnson. She replaces Jeremy Wright in the role, which he had held since July 2018. Morgan, who is MP for Loughborough, said her appointment to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport was “an enormous privilege” and described it as a “fabulous role”.
She said: “DCMS’s dynamic and much-loved sectors are at the heart of what makes the UK a great place to live, work and do business. They are our global calling card, encouraging investment, driving innovation and making the UK a country people around the world want to visit. I will be working hard to make sure the future for our world-leading sectors is a bright one.”
Morgan campaigned to remain in the European Union before the 2016 referendum and is a staunch opponent of leaving the EU without a deal, claiming that a no-deal scenario would “severely impact on the economy, employers and the finances of households”. Her appointment comes just a day after a creative industries membership body wrote an open letter to Johnson, warning of the danger to the sector posed by a no-deal Brexit.
A former education secretary, Morgan came under fire from the arts sector in 2015 when she claimed that young people choosing to study creative subjects at school could “hold them back for the rest of their lives”, and argued that the subjects that “keep people’s options open and unlock doors to all sorts of careers are the STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] subjects”.
UK - With today’s temperatures hitting around 104F in some areas of the UK - making it the hottest July day on record - St Ives-based Le Mark Group has come up with an inventive way for its production and warehouse operatives to keep cool: Utility kilts.
Stuart Gibbons, Le Mark’s MD comments: “It’s tough for our production team in this heat. I had seen utility kilts being worn by riggers and technicians in Las Vegas, Dubai and Scotland (of course), but thick woollen tartan can be hot. I was happy to offer these ‘supper cool’ and very well ventilated tough cotton utility kilts to all those operatives that wanted them - free of charge, of course!”
Gibbons continues: “Anything we can do to make life a little more comfortable for our production team, we are happy to offer.”
Europe – TSL Lighting Design director, Anthony ‘Turbo’ Hall, has set off on a mammoth 22,000-mile return road trip from Kent to Ulan Ude in Russia to raise money for the technical entertainment charity, Backup.
Turbo set off on Friday 19 July in Poppy - a wholly unsuitable 1000cc Perodua Kanari – with his teammate Abby 'Henri' Cooper. Over the next 12 or so weeks, they will drive through 22 countries.
The car joins a fleet of vehicles as part of the world-famous Mongol Rally. Turbo and Henri have named their intrepid team the Nomadic Numpties, which is certain to be eye-catching as they race through eastern Europe and into lesser travelled terrains towards deepest Russia.
“I’ve known about the Mongol Rally for many years and it's always something I’ve dreamed of doing,” says Turbo. “When the chance arose to enter, we jumped at it. It’s an unsupported drive, which means we’ve had to take care of all our own travel arrangements, accommodation, visas and other elements, so it’s been quite a process getting everything sorted! We’re excited for this adventure and proud to be raising money for such a good cause."
The team has already smashed their initial fundraising target, raising almost £4,000 for Backup so far. TSL HQ will be tracking the Nomadic Numpties’ progress over the course of the next few months via their Instagram page. They are inviting the industry to make a donation to Backup, the benevolent fund set up to provide financial support to technical professionals in their time of need, via test
Well-being - Professional musicians will be able to access a face-to-face counselling service as part of a range of services designed to support their mental health. The ISM Members Fund, a sister charity of industry membership body the Incorporated Society of Musicians, will now offer counselling over telephone and in person, including cognitive behavioural therapy.
ISM chief executive Deborah Annetts said: “Looking after your mental health is just as important as your physical health - and we know first-hand from our members the challenges out there for everyday musicians. The music sector has a high level of self-employed workers and in the largely unregulated gig economy, where short-term contracts or freelance work is prevalent, there are high levels of stress and anxiety.”
She said she hoped the new service would help musicians “take control” of their well-being, and contribute to the wider discussion about mental health in the arts.
Wonderful Life - Paul McCartney is writing his first musical, which is a stage adaptation of the 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life. The former Beatle is co-writing the lyrics for the musical with Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, who is also responsible for the book. Bill Kenwright, who attended the same secondary school as McCartney in Liverpool, is producing the show.
McCartney said: “Like many of these things this all started with an email; Bill had asked if it was something I might be up for. Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me but Bill and I
UK - Harlequin Floors' Liberty panels were used for the set of the eagerly-awaited film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, the manufacturer has revealed.
Filmed at Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, the upcoming musical drama features a star-studded cast, including actors Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift and James Corden, as well as Royal Ballet principal dancers Francesca Hayward and Steve McRae.
Over 550sq.m of Harlequin Liberty panels were hired for the film set, to provide the cast a safe sprung floor on which to practice their lifts and jumps. The sprung dance floor panels were then covered in Harlequin Reversible Pro performance vinyl, which helps to prevent slips and falls. Ballet barres and 15 mirrors were also bought from the Tunbridge Wells-based manufacturer to complete the professional dance environment in which the cast could train.
Jamie Stirling, technical development manager at Harlequin, visited the set and oversaw the installation. "Working on projects of this scale and prestige, which are often technically challenging, is a real privilege, especially one such as this that combines film and performing arts,” he comments.
Cats is released on 20 December by Universal Pictures. The film is the second musical adaptation directed by Les Misérables director, Tom Hooper and is choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, with Steven Spielberg as executive producer.
UK - A recent prosecution at Westminster Magistrates’ Court is a stark reminder of just what is at stake when work at height is not properly planned and supervised, says the Ladder Association.
The court heard that a railway maintenance worker suffered significant injuries including a broken collarbone, 11 broken ribs and a punctured lung after falling 4.3m from a ladder while cutting back vegetation. Following the accident, the victim spent 13 days in intensive care during which time he underwent two major operations and now has metal plates pinning his clavicle and ribs. He has been unable to return to his former occupation.
The maintenance contractor pleaded guilty to an offence under the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £500,000, with £9,896.19 in costs.
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) investigation found that the site inspection had been inadequate, work was neither properly planned nor appropriately supervised and as such, the contractor failed to realise that using ladders was inappropriate for the task and exposed workers to the risk of falling.
In response to this prosecution, the Ladder Association - the not-for-profit authority dedicated to promoting the safe use of ladders and stepladders - is urging all ladder users, and those responsible for managing the safe use of ladders, to put ladder training at the top of their height safety agenda.
Dennis Seaton, chair of the association’s training committee, comments: “There are many situations where a ladder can be the right solution, but they shouldn’t aut
Park Life - Bob Dylan and Neil Young co-headlined a UK gig for the first time in London's Hyde Park last weekend. "I've never played in daylight before," joked Young, who went on stage first, adding: "It's great to see everybody."
The event, which was originally billed as part of the Barclaycard presents BST series, went ahead as a solo concert without any sponsorship. That's after he refused to perform at a festival bearing the name of what he called "a fossil fuel-funding entity".
Young and Dylan had played on-stage together previously in 1992 - alongside George Harrison and Eric Clapton - at a New York gig to mark 30 years of the American's music, and before that at The Band's last-ever gig in 1976, which was captured on film by Martin Scorsese in The Last Waltz. Whispers murmured around Hype Park that it could happen again during Dylan's set, but it was not to be.
Barclaycard resumes its Hyde Park summertime takeover this weekend with performances from Florence + the Machine, The National and Robbie Williams.
Sound Tracks - First Night Records, an independent label which specialises in West End and Broadway cast recordings, has been acquired by Warner Music Group. As part of the deal - the value of which has not been disclosed - First Night will be overseen by WMG’s Arts Music division, led by its president Kevin Gore. First Night was founded by John Craig and Tony Edwards in 1984, with their recording of Singin’ in the Rain. It has since recorded more than 150 productions. These comprise all of Cameron Mackintosh
UK - As hire and events company SLX prepared for ISO accreditation, it faced the annual prospect of being without its 14 QC-Check workstations for up to four weeks whilst the units go off-site for certification that the PAT testers are within their operation specifications.
However, this year, Data Strategy was able to provide the assistance of VeriCal. The hand-held, on-site alternative to off-site calibration, VeriCal, ensures the Out Board PAT-4 testers - an integral part of the QC-Check system - are within their operational specifications to produce verified and accurate results.
SLX business systems & quality coordinator, Gary Smith explains: “As a busy company, we are very reliant on the equipment passing quickly through the QC-Check inspection process so taking even one workstation out of service would have a big knock on effect for us. The prospect of taking them all out of service for calibration was quite daunting.”
Data Strategy’s VeriCal enables the re-calibration process to take place in-house, so that no workstation is out of service longer than it needs to be.
VeriCal transformed the previously arduous task of calibration into a simple experience for SLX and Gary reports that the testing process “took just a few days. Everyone was able to carry on testing while I took the units out of service for half an hour at a time, which was not an issue at all”.
With equipment for projects going out hourly, the SLX QC-Check workstations are in constant use. Every item of lighting, sound and rigging equipment is put thro
UK - For a second year running, Shure is backing Little Wing film festival, an event for budding filmmakers, students and recent graduates.
The microphone manufacturer is sponsoring three film categories - Best Director, Film Futures Award and the Film Enterprise Award - and will also provide three prize bundles, each comprising a VP83F LensHopper camera-mount condenser mic and SRH840 monitoring headphones.
Paul Crognale, manager of global marketing for musician and consumer audio at Shure, comments: “We're proud to be supporting Little Wing film festival again this year by providing prizes for three awards. It's very important to us to continue championing emerging talent and supporting young people entering creative industries.”
Festival director, Mariah Mathew, adds: “Thanks to partners who continue to support young people breaking into the creative industries, we have another arsenal of fantastic prizes to award our winning filmmakers, including advice sessions with members of BBC Films.”
Little Wing is returning for a third year in September to screen films from emerging filmmakers and provide a platform for filmmakers to learn, share and collaborate. Highlights from previous years include Sir Ian McKellen voicing an animated film, and Master’s student collaborations with DOP Robbie Ryan (The Favourite, American Honey).
Then Play On - Entertainment venues in Scotland will receive protection from noise complaints after the ‘agent of change’ planning principle was enshrined into Scottish law. The principle means if an existing entertainment venue is in place before a new development is built nearby, the developer is responsible for soundproofing against noise.
An amended version of the Planning (Scotland) Bill was passed into law on 21 June, which included the agent of change principle as well as four other references to culture. The other references require culture to be considered in local development plans, town and county planning and the country’s National Planning Framework.
A group representing 50 arts organisations in Scotland called Culture Counts has welcomed the changes. Executive leader of Culture Counts Jennifer Hunter says: “The Planning (Scotland) Bill has recognised the cultural sector and its value to communities in Scotland. We’re pleased that politicians and civil servants understand the wider importance of the protection of culture; due to well-known benefits that span across health and social care, education and the economy.”
Croydon Aspires - Fairfield Halls’ new head has said he wants the relaunched venue to become Croydon’s answer to the Southbank Centre, as it prepares to open its doors for the first time in three years. The Fairfield Halls building has a similar Brutalist style to the Southbank - Europe’s largest arts centre, based in central London - and its venue director Neil Chandler has said he aspires for the s
USA - Behind The Scenes (BTS) holiday cards are now on sale for 2019, the charity has announced.
All proceeds will benefit BTS, which provides financial assistance to entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured.
Three card ordering options are being offered through the BTS Boutique, the charity’s online ordering facility. These are personalised cards, card packs of 10 with a standard greeting, and electronic/email versions.
Six new designs are featured this year. Scenic Art Studios has contributed designs by Irina Portnyagina and Athena Parella. Mount Vernon Senior High School is represented by Andreana Carlino and Alex Elmendorf. Perennial favorite Robert Mendoza is back and we are delighted to welcome Tupac Martir/Satore Studio.
Orders will be taken until 30 September and orders will be shipped by late November. View and order cards at www.behindthescenescharity.org/holidaycards.
South Africa - DWR Distribution and the SOS charity fund are asking for help to fund treatment for Landy Yeatman from Johannesburg-based event technical solutions provider Pristine Moods Productions.
Yeatman, 44, is a single mother with two daughters. She has been fighting stage 3B breast cancer and has now exceeded her medical aid limit, with a large number of outstanding bills to pay.
The SOS has contributed R25,000 towards her fundraising campaign, but Landy will need furthers assistance.
Read her story on BackaBuddy, where you can also make a donation.
South Africa - Germany’s KlotzAIShas has appointed DWR Distribution as its new distribution partner for South Africa.
Frederic Kromberg, director of international sales at Klotz, visited DWR in Johannesburg to secure the deal. “Klotz cables have been available in South Africa well over 15 years, but as a strongly solution-oriented company - especially with rental companies, installers and broadcasting markets - we are very excited to develop and expand our cable business in South Africa with the highly professional team of DWR. We believe this is a great opportunity for DWR to develop our extensive product range.”
Duncan Riley of DWR Distribution, says: “I knew of the Klotz brand and always admired the quality. But I really got a good feeling when I met Frederic and realised that their company was as people orientated as what we are. It’s an honour to be the distributor for this professional company and fine brand and we look forward to many years to come together.”
Plastic Free - Sir David Attenborough took to the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury to praise festivalgoers for using less plastic. The naturalist appeared shortly before Kylie Minogue's set, and previewed some of his new TV series Seven Worlds, One Planet, which is due to air on BBC One later this year. Thousands of people had gathered for his unscheduled appearance.
"Those extraordinary marvellous sounds you've just been listening to were the sounds of the creatures that live in the sea and the great oceans. You may have heard some of them in a series that went out two years ago called Blue Planet 2," he said.
"There was one sequence in Blue Planet 2 which everyone seems to remember. It was one in which we showed what plastic has done to the creatures that live in the ocean. They have an extraordinary effect. And now, this great festival has gone plastic-free. That is more than a million bottles of water that have not been drunk by you at Glastonbury. Thank you. Thank you.”
Architects’ Award Winners - Battersea Arts Centre, Bristol Old Vic and the Royal Opera House are among the winners of the Royal Institute of British Architects’ national awards for 2019. Seven new performing arts buildings from across the UK were recognised for their significant contributions to architecture. Other winners included Alexandra Palace in London, the Southbank Centre, Nevill Holt Opera in Leicester and drama school LAMDA.
Battersea Arts Centre reopened in 2018 following a 12-year restoration project which was extended when a fire devastated the
Germany - Adam Hall Group’s Experience Centre has won the Art Directors Club (ADC) Competition award for Spatial Experience, Corporate Interior.
The ADC Competition recognises the best in craftsmanship, beauty and attention to detail in the worlds of design, advertising and other creative disciplines. The award for the Experience Centre was presented to Adam Hall (the building owner) and to interior design agency Stilbruch United Designers and M&P Architects.
“Our goal for the Experience Centre is based around offering people the opportunity to not only be inspired but also to implement their creative ideas in a modern environment with state-of-the-art technology,” says Alexander Pietschmann, CEO of the Adam Hall Group. “Since the grand opening now a year ago, the Experience Centre is valued as a place for sharing great emotions and moments together – connecting business customers, partners, associations and our employees in an integrated manner. We are delighted to be presented with this honourable award by the ADC Jury.”
Opening its doors in June 2018 near Frankfurt (see LSi July 2018), the Experience Centre serves as a modern working and meeting place. Among other features, it is home to a fully equipped showroom, a large auditorium for live shows and product demonstrations, the company restaurant Come Together
Fire Damage - A number of prominent musicians are suing the world's largest record label, Universal Music, after learning their music may have been lost in a fire. The case, which seeks damages in excess of $100m (£78m), was filed by the estates of Tom Petty and Tupac Shakur, the bands Hole and Soundgarden, and singer-songwriter Steve Earle. They are seeking class action status, which means other affected artists will be able to join the legal action.
It is the first case to emerge since a New York Times investigation alleged that hundreds of thousands of master recordings, protection copies, unreleased music and other materials had burned in a massive warehouse fire in 2008.
Among the hundreds of artists said to have lost music were Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Sir Elton John, Janet Jackson, Nirvana, Eminem and Guns N' Roses.
The legal papers, filed by three law firms in Los Angeles, accuse Universal Music of negligence by housing the recordings in "a known fire trap", as well as concealing the extent of the destruction from artists.”
Last week, Universal Music's CEO Sir Lucian Grainge instructed his staff to co-operate fully with artists seeking information on the status of their recordings. "We owe our artists transparency. We owe them answers," he wrote, adding that "the loss of even a single piece of archived material is heart-breaking".
Under Scrutiny - The “murky world” of London theatre has come under scrutiny in the House of Lords, with peers raising concerns about accessib
Audience Comfort - Ambassador Theatre Group chief executive Mark Cornell has claimed theatres need to look to cinemas to improve audience comfort, arguing theatregoers are having to endure “seats designed like torture instruments”. Cornell made the comments during his first major speech to members of the industry at UK Theatre’s Theatre and Touring Symposium, which took place in London on 17 June.
He said: “[Audiences] arrive at our theatres at a time set by us, they then navigate queues, fold themselves into seats designed like torture instruments, dine on a packet of crisps or a tub of ice cream and often endure temperatures that fluctuate between Siberia and the subcontinent.
“Yet cinema chains such as the Everyman have reinvented the experience of going to the movies. They provide a wonderful, enriching experience, which everyone should really enjoy regularly at the theatre. Today we’re asking people to work really hard for the privilege [of going to the theatre]. In a world where we expect everything to be connected, seamless, easy and immediate, this is not sustainable.”
Cornell also raised the issue of ticket prices, arguing that the commercial operators shared a responsibility with the subsidised sector to keep theatre affordable. “I’m afraid there’s a huge amount of misinformation surrounding theatre pricing. One misconception is that keeping theatre affordable is the reserve of the subsidised sector. I strongly believe that we all share a responsibility in this area, whether we operate in the subsidised or commercial se