The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 30 October 2018
Olympia Plans - Plans have been submitted for a 1,500-seat theatre and 1,000-capacity performing arts venue in the Olympia London exhibition centre. The new venues are part of a £700m redevelopment of the West Kensington events space, which was first announced in July. Now the owners of Olympia London, Yoo Capital, have requested planning permission from Hammersmith and Fulham council.
The planning documents reveal further details of the proposed performing arts offering, with developers aiming to create a cultural hub in the area. As well as the previously announced 1,500-seat theatre, there will also be a flexible performing arts venue with a capacity of 1,000 seated or 3,000 standing, which will be used for music and potentially also for theatre and dance. There will also be 10,000sq.ft of performance rehearsal space, which will be primarily for use of local charities and community groups, free of charge.
Planning documents reveal the theatre will be constructed from textured concrete and spread over nine levels, with a fly tower and rooftop restaurant located on the top floor.
The completion date of the development, which will also include hotels, restaurants and cinemas, is dependent on when the council responds to the planning application.
Unmasked - A stage show based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s life and career is being developed and will be workshopped at a London theatre owned by the composer next month. It will be based on Lloyd Webber’s recently published autobiography, Unmasked, and is described as “highly experimental” and a “not so reverential look” at the composer’s career.
Also titled Unmasked, the workshop, which will include some songs, is written with Richard Curtis and directed by Laurence Connor. The performances will take place from 29 November to 1 December at the Other Palace and will act as a workshop for a planned production in the US.
Festival Move - Edinburgh International Festival has appointed Francesca Hegyi as its new executive director, effective from February. She is taking over from Joanna Baker, who steps down at the end of this year after 12 years in the role and 26 years at the EIF. Hegyi joins the EIF from Hull City of Culture 2017, for which she was also executive director. She was appointed an OBE in the 2018 New Year Honours, having secured funding for and delivering 2,800 events over the year.
(Jim Evans)
30 October 2018

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