The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 3 December 2019
Call to Arms - Industry leaders including National Theatre bosses Rufus Norris and Lisa Burger and Bristol Old Vic’s artistic director Tom Morris are calling on the sector to band together to fight for increased arts investment from a new government. They have issued the call to arms in an attempt to undo the effects of austerity-era cuts.
Their demands for increased arts funding from central government come alongside warnings that the regional theatre sector could “fall over” if support does not increase, and that the crisis facing organisations nationwide is “sharper and more acute” than has so far been publicly acknowledged.
As the UK prepares to head to the polls and with both Labour and the Conservatives promising a boost to public spending, theatre bosses have claimed now is the moment for a major policy shift around arts funding.
Morris said: “It is fantastic that militant austerity is now under review, and it is fantastic that there is more investment being talked about in health, social care, education and policing. But let’s not at the same time miss the opportunity of assessing what the impact of investment could be in the creative sector, the only sector of the economy that has grown year on year over the past 10 years.”
Theatre Collapse - Claims totalling more than £378,000 have been made against the collapsed Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre. The pop-up venue ran in York and Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire this summer under the company Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre Ltd. However, the company began liquidation proceedings in October following “unsustainable losses” from the season.
Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre Ltd was set up by producer James Cundall, who also runs six companies globally under the brand of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions. The £378,000 claims relating to Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre Ltd are in addition to more than £5m debt claims reported to The Stage by producers of some of the world’s biggest shows. Actors, suppliers, agencies and creatives are among the list of 160 creditors for Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre Ltd, which has been published by Companies House.
The largest claim is from Yorkshire-based company Acorn Scaffolding for £71,472. York City Council, which owns the car park where the York pop-up theatre was located, claims to be owed £33,922. Other substantial claims include £38,000 from caterers Searcy Tansley, £27,000 from merchandise company Global Marketing Group and £22,000 from Harrogate Theatre Scenic Services.
Edinburgh Rocks - Plans for an 8,000-seat indoor arena on the outskirts of Edinburgh to attract big names in entertainment have been unveiled. A 30-acre site is proposed at Straiton in Midlothian with plans also for conference, retail and leisure space, a cinema, and hotels. The joint venture between Lothian Leisure Development and the Birmingham-based NED group is at an early stage. Developers hope to submit a planning application by the end of 2020.
Dave McGeachan from Scottish concert promoter, DF Concerts, said "These days it is rare that a capital city doesn't have an arena, so this is a long awaited and positive addition to the Scottish entertainment market."
Jamaica Farewell - Irving Burgie, who helped to popularise Caribbean music with hit songs like Day-O, has died aged 95. His death was confirmed by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, who called for a moment of silence for the man who wrote its national anthem.
Burgie is best known for helping singer Harry Belafonte bring calypso music to the mainstream. The 1950s song Day-O went on to be used in films, adverts and even as a wake-up call for astronauts in space. The calypso hit, also known as The Banana Boat Song, featured in the film Beetlejuice and has been sampled by rapper Lil Wayne and singer Jason Derulo. His other well-known songs include Island in the Sun, Jamaica Farewell and Mary's Boy Child, which he co-wrote. RIP.
(Jim Evans)
3 December 2019

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