The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 26 March 2019
Toronto Inquest - The stage collapse that killed a Radiohead drum technician caused lasting "immeasurable pain and grief" for the band, a Canadian coroner's inquest has heard. Radiohead drummer Philip Selway told the inquest that the 2012 incident still haunts the band. Scott Johnson died at Toronto's Downsview Park when the stage collapsed an hour before the gates opened. An Ontario coroner is conducting an inquest into the deadly incident.
In testimony in Toronto, Selway described the "anger and frustration" felt by the UK band, its crew members and Johnson's parents in the wake of the incident. He said they have been left with a sense of a "complete failure of the justice system" in the case. "The system has failed Scott, his family and other industry workers," he said.
Radiohead was set to perform a sold-out show in Toronto when the stage's metal scaffold roofing - tens of thousands of pounds of steel and equipment - collapsed onto crew members on stage at the time. Johnson, a native of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was killed and three other people were injured.
Censored - Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has been released in China, but references to the Queen singer's sexuality and AIDS diagnosis were censored. Several minutes of footage were edited out of the film, including scenes of two men kissing and the word "gay".
There has been significant reaction to the film's release online. More than 50,000 users have posted reviews on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like micro-blogging platform. Though some users complained of "half watching and half guessing" as a result of the deleted scenes, others were pleased the film had been released at all.
Blackpool Rocks - The resort’s Grand Theatre has launched its own production company for the first time, in celebration of the venue’s 125th anniversary. The launch of the production company is part of a wider strategy to raise money for a refurbishment and to create new education programmes for young people. A musical adaptation of Around the World in 80 Days, written and directed by Ian McFarlane, will be the first production by the new company, set to run from 7-31 August. Blackpool Grand Productions will then look at planning a summer show for 2020, with a possibility for subsequent shows in future years.
The theatre also recently launched a £125,000 fundraising campaign for the renovation, as part of which repairs will be made to the grade-II listed venue’s copper-tiled roof.
Farewell - Tributes have been paid to Scott Walker who has died at the age of 76. The US star found fame as a teen idol in The Walker Brothers, scoring hits with The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore and Make It Easy On Yourself.
Midge Ure described him as "the man with the mahogany voice", while singer Marc Almond said he was "absolutely saddened [and] shocked" by the news. "He gave me so much inspiration, so much I owe to him and modelled on him even down to my early haircut and dark glasses," he added. Brian Eno who, like Jarvis Cocker and David Bowie, cites Walker as a key influence, said, “He took music to a place that it hasn't actually ever been since."
(Jim Evans)
26 March 2019

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