The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 19 May 2020
Global Warning - Shakespeare's Globe Theatre has called for urgent funding to avoid going out of business due to the "devastating" impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The London venue has been shut since 20 March and has warned MPs it is "critically vulnerable and at risk of closure in the wake of COVID-19". It said it would need at least £5m to get back up and running.
It was ineligible for Arts Council England's relief and said it had been "left without any emergency support". In evidence to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, the theatre said: "Without emergency funding and the continuation of the coronavirus job retention scheme, we will spend down our reserves and become insolvent. This has been financially devastating and could even be terminal."
Conservative MP Julian Knight, who chairs the committee, said in a letter to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden that it would be a "tragedy" if the theatre was to close. "Shakespeare's Globe is a world-renowned institution and not only part of our national identity, but a leading example of the major contribution the arts make to our economy," he wrote.
The Globe does not get annual funding from Arts Council England (ACE), meaning it can't access ACE's main £90m emergency relief fund.
From A Distance - American Idol's 18th winner, Just Sam, celebrated alone on Sunday after taking part in the finale under lockdown in Los Angeles. Samantha Diaz from Harlem, New York, was told she'd won the public vote by host Ryan Seacrest, who was broadcasting from his garage. She heard the news while clutching an iPad that was connected to a call with her grandmother, who brought her up. American Idol has soldiered on through the coronavirus pandemic, with the flashy neon sets and pyrotechnics replaced by gardens, garages and bedrooms.
Waterloo Wins - Abba's Waterloo has been named the greatest Eurovision song of all time by BBC viewers. Eurovision: Come Together saw the public vote for their favourites, on the night that this year's song contest was due to take place. The 2020 competition was cancelled in March amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Swedish foursome won it in 1974 in Brighton. The track, which topped the UK charts and set them on their way to fame, went on to sell nearly 6m copies.Speaking later on the night, Bjorn Ulvaeus from the band said he found it "hard to believe" that was where it began for them all those years ago.
The shortlist for the programme included Eurovision classics from the likes of Netta, Bucks Fizz, Conchita Wurst and Gina G. But it was Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Benny and Bjorn who ultimately triumphed, with their musical metaphor about the joys of surrendering to love.
Filming Resumes - Actors will have to stand 2m apart and film in front of green screens more often when TV shows resume, according to new guidance. The measures form part of a back-to-work blueprint issued by the UK's biggest broadcasters. They have been adopted by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky to protect actors and crews during the pandemic. It is hoped that soaps including EastEnders and Coronation Street will start filming again in June.
(Jim Evans)
19 May 2020

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