The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 4 July 2017
Stax at The Proms - Sir Tom Jones is to make his Proms debut in a celebration of Stax Records, alongside soul legends Booker T Jones and Sam Moore. The concert, on 1 September, marks the 50th anniversary of the label's hugely successful 1967 European tour. Featuring acts like Sam & Dave and Otis Redding, the revue prompted a surge in popularity for American soul in the UK.
Concerts Cancelled - Adele cancelled the last two shows of her 123-stop world tour after damaging her vocal cords. The star has been touring her 2015 album 25 since February 2016, and in a note shared just after midnight on 1 July she said: “on medical advice I am simply unable to perform over the weekend.” On the previous Wednesday and Thursday week Adele played two of her tour’s final four dates at London’s Wembley Stadium, and in her note she explained: “I’ve struggled vocally both nights.” The first night attracted a crowd of 98,000 – a record for any event, sporting or otherwise at Wembley.
The prom comes near the end of a season which also features Simon Rattle, Jarvis Cocker and Nicola Benedetti. Sir Tom said he was looking forward to his first appearance at the classical music festival. "I've always sung soul and I've always sung Stax," he said. "I sang Otis Redding's (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay on my television show in 1969 and I intend to sing it at this prom again."
Emotional Experience - Audiences watching Titus Andronicus at the Royal Shakespeare Company will have their heart rates monitored to discover whether live theatre evokes a stronger emotional response than a live screening. It is being billed as the first time a direct comparison between the emotional experience of live Shakespeare and cinema screenings is measured.
The project, analysing Blanche McIntyre's forthcoming production of the infamously gory play, also seeks to discover whether Shakespeare still shocks audiences. A sample of audience members will wear heart rate monitors on their wrists throughout a performance of the play, and will also participate in a series of interviews following the show.
All at Sea - Beverley Knight and Michael Ball are among performers confirmed to take part in a musical theatre-themed cruise. Floating Festival’s Stages bills itself as the UK’s “first ever fully themed musical theatre cruise”. As well as performances by Ball, Knight, Lee Mead and Christina Bianco, the four-night trip offers quizzes, lip-sync battles and musical theatre workshops where passengers can learn dance, singing and acting skills. The cruise runs from 15-19 October 2018 onboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas.
Horse Drawn Theatre - The UK’s last horse-drawn theatre troupe is under threat after losing Arts Council England funding. Sabotage Theatre tours plays to rural communities in Kent and Sussex, sleeping outdoors and travelling on foot with the company’s stage and set being pulled by two piebald cobs. The company has received funding from various bodies since its inception in 2011. However, it has relied in bulk on ACE support, which is not planned to continue.
Founder and artistic director Zoe Hinks said: “There are drastic cuts to the arts up and down the country and unfortunately we are one of those companies that has suffered. If we stop touring, there’s no more horse-drawn theatre in this country.” The company has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £12,092 by 25 July in order to continue its current show, The Looker.
Faster Food - Sadler's Wells has launched an app allowing audience members to order food and drink so they can avoid queues. The mobile ordering platform, Preoday, means that audiences can pre-book and pay for interval drinks several days in advance of their visit to the London dance venue. It is the latest theatre to utilise a Preoday app for food and drinks, with other venues including the Royal Opera house, the Barbican, the Royal and Derngate in Northampton and Theatre Royal Bath.
Zuzana Galikova, head of catering and events at Sadler's Wells, said: "The variety of our artistic programme enables us to attract large audiences. We aim to cater for the tastes of all our audiences, and the introduction of our new mobile and online ordering service is part of our ongoing commitment to enhance the customer experience.” Sadler's Wells currently earns about 11% of its commercial income from its cafes, bars, merchandise and space hire.
(Jim Evans)
4 July 2017

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