The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Glastonbury Records - Kylie Minogue's decades-spanning greatest hits set has become the most-watched Glastonbury performance ever, according to BBC figures. An average audience of 3.2m people tuned in to see her play the festival's legend slot, beating previous highs set by Ed Sheeran and Adele. Viewership peaked at 3.9m during the closing minutes of Kylie's set, as she played Dancing and Spinning Around. The emotional show came 14 years after a cancer diagnosis forced the star to pull out of a planned headline slot.
This year's Glastonbury saw a significant shift in viewership, with audiences increasingly choosing to catch up with performances online. The total number of online requests, including YouTube views, iPlayer requests and live streams, reached 37.5m - an increase of 86% from 2017 (Glastonbury took a year off in 2018). However, TV viewership was down - from 23m in 2017 to 21.1m this year; although that figure is still the second-highest on record.
Rebranding Potter - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has unveiled new branding and a new logo at its London home, bringing the theatre production in line with the book and film franchise worldwide. Producers said the global expansion of the play meant that they now wanted to “coordinate the marketing of the show around the world so there was consistency across all territories”.
Written by Jack Thorne and based on a story by Thorne, director John Tiffany and Harry Potter creator JK Rowling, the play premiered in London in 2016, featuring a new story set 19 years after the conclusion of the original. The play’s logo has now been changed, and the signage on the front of the Palace Theatre has been updated. The new imagery is the same typography that has been used for the books and films for over two decades.
“The logo Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is now using is the same as the books, originally designed by legendary Harry Potter illustrator Mary GrandPré over 23 years ago, which has continued to be used across books, films and many official Harry Potter projects all over the world ever since,” according to producers Sonia Friedman, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions.
Blockbuster Move - Disney is to make more blockbusters at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire after signing a deal to take over most of the complex for at least a decade. The film and TV giant behind the Star Wars, Marvel and Avatar movies will lease 20 stages plus other facilities.
Pinewood is famously the home of James Bond, not a Disney franchise - throwing 007's future at the site into question. The deal comes two months after Netflix announced it had taken a long-term lease at Pinewood's Shepperton Studios.
Slippery Surface - The first night of the UK and Ireland tour of 9 to 5 the Musical was cancelled part-way through, due to slippery floors making the stage too dangerous for the performers. Despite the cast changing their footwear to trainers, the show was abandoned halfway through Act One at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham, after a grease spillage spread across the stage.
According to an audience member, the show had to be stopped for “health and safety” reasons, with the director and a producer coming on stage to apologise and offering audiences a concert version. However, some audience members “heckled” this and the cast refused to continue. In an official statement, the producers of the show said they were “thrilled and touched at the amazing response from the Birmingham audience”.
The show is produced by Ambassador Theatre Group, Selladoor Worldwide and Gavin Kalin Productions with Benjamin Lowy Productions, Glass Half Full Productions, Showtime Theatre Productions, Hartshorn-Hook Productions, Harmonia Holdings and Kilimanjaro Live. The show is touring until to November, closing at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin.
London Run - Broadway musical Pretty Woman has confirmed the Piccadilly theatre as the venue for its London run. The show, an adaptation of the film of the same name, will preview from 14 February, 2020 and runs for 46 weeks. The musical has lyrics and music by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, and a book by the film’s original director Garry Marshall and its writer JF Lawton.
Ambassador Theatre Group Productions executive producer Adam Speers said: “The West End loves a big night out and none come bigger than this new production re-telling the iconic and much loved movie. The UK has rocked to the legendary work of Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance for decades and we cannot wait to welcome audiences to the show”.
The production has scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Kenneth Posner and Philip S. Rosenberg, sound design by John Shivers, hair design by Josh Marquette, and music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations by Will Van Dyke.
(Jim Evans)
10 September 2019

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