The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 15 December 2020
Freelance Support - Freelancers in financial need because of tighter restrictions around the UK are being offered support through the Theatre Artists Fund, which has had a boost from Arts Council England. ACE, supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has previously contributed £1m to the fund, and has now put in additional money, although the amount has not been disclosed.
The fund is administered by the Society of London Theatre’s sister charity Theatre Development Trust and will be looking to support freelancers who were not eligible to apply for grants in the recent funding round, but are now in financial need due to working in a Tier 3 area. SOLT said the Theatre Artists Fund would be contacting producers and theatres that have had to cancel or postpone productions in Tier 3 areas to seek details of affected individuals. Grants of £1,000 to those eligible will be awarded in January.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks - A stage version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks will come to the UK next year, produced by Michael Harrison. A musical adaptation of the 1971 Disney film will premiere at Newcastle Theatre Royal in August 2021, before embarking on a UK tour that will include a five-week Christmas season at Leeds Grand Theatre. It is being brought to the stage by theatre-makers Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison, who co-run the theatre company Vox Motus. Harrison also created the illusions for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and will design the set and illusions for Bedknobs and Broomsticks. It will be choreographed by Neil Bettles. Sound and lighting will be by Gareth Fry and Simon Wilkinson respectively.
Farewell - American country music star Charley Pride has died aged 86 after complications from COVID-19. While Pride was not the first black singer in country music, he became one of its biggest stars during a period of division in the US. He won three Grammy Awards, followed by a lifetime achievement award in 2017.
"We're not colour-blind yet, but we've advanced a few paces along the path and I like to think I've contributed something to that process," he wrote in his memoir. Pride was awarded the Country Music Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in Nashville, Tennessee, on 11 November, in what would be his last public performance. RIP.
(Jim Evans)
15 December 2020

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