The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 2 October 2018
Here We Go Again - Comedian and Great British Bake Off host Sandi Toksvig will adapt the story for the Mamma Mia! spin-off show when it opens at the O2 in London next August. The writer and broadcaster will adapt Calle Norlen, Roine Soderlundh and Bjorn Ulvaeus’ original story into English for the immersive theatrical and dining experience, Mamma Mia! The Party.
Set in a Greek taverna, Mamma Mia! The Party will take place in a venue within the O2. It will seat 500 audience members, who will experience the show alongside a Mediterranean meal. The show has been created by Abba’s Ulvaeus, with producer Ingrid Sutej, and features music and lyrics by Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. It will be directed by Soderlundh, with set by Bengt Froderberg, costumes by Annsofi Nyberg, lighting by Patrick Woodroffe and sound by Gareth Owen.
Welcome News - Theatre by the Lake in Keswick and Belfast’s Grand Opera House are among the 12 regional winners of the UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre Award 2018. The prize, which is run by theatre membership organisation UK Theatre, is judged by members of the public who vote to celebrate their local theatre. Other regional winners included the Mill at Sonning in the South East, which won the overall prize in 2017, and Swindon’s Arts Centre in the South West category.
Cassie Chadderton, head of UK Theatre, said: “This award is a chance to recognise the importance of theatres as valuable cultural hubs, and the loyalty they can inspire by creating a fantastic audience experience - from friendly front-of-house service to engaging outreach projects and imaginative, entertaining programming.”
Hair Today - In the autumn of 1968, the curtain fell on centuries of theatre censorship. Hours later, a cast of long-haired young actors took to the stage in a show depicting drug-taking, anti-war protests and shocking nudity. London's West End was never the same again. Hair was a musical that placed the 1960s counterculture on stage. It thrust bisexuality, interracial relationships and the rejection of monogamy in front of audiences who had previously been "protected" from such taboo subjects.
In a theatre first, one scene featured the cast appearing from behind a sheet, fully naked and chanting the words "beads, flowers, freedom, and happiness". Despite lasting just seconds, it was considered scandalous and resulted in many audience members walking out of the Shaftesbury Theatre, dinner jackets in hand.
Farewell - Marty Balin - the co-founder and vocalist-guitarist of psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane - has died aged 76. Balin, real name Martyn Jerel Buchwal, found fame with the group in the 1960s with hits such as White Rabbit. In a statement, Marty Balin's family said: "Marty's fans describe him as having had a substantial impact for the better of the world: One of the greatest voices of all time, a writer of songs that will never fade, and founder of the quintessential San Francisco band of the 1960s.”
(Jim Evans)
2 October 2018

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