Tuesday, 7 March 2017
Stagecraft - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has received 11 Olivier Award nominations, which makes it the most nominated new play in Olivier history. The musical Groundhog Day, which begins on Broadway this month, has picked up eight nominations. Glenda Jackson receives her first nomination since 1984 following her return to the stage as King Lear. Her leading role at London's Old Vic last year was her first stage appearance for 25 years after giving up acting for politics in the early 1990s.
Groundhog Day competes in the best new musical category against Dreamgirls, School of Rock and The Girls. Jesus Christ Superstar, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, receives six nominations, including best musical revival. "In a year of global change, the nominees for this year's awards demonstrate London theatre's ability to challenge our perceptions, stir our emotions, and entertain us," said Julian Bird, chief executive of the Society of London Theatre, which produces the Olivier Awards.
Noises Off - Reformed pop group Bros have cancelled all their concerts outside London and Manchester. The duo, brothers Matt and Luke Goss, were due to play a full UK tour this summer, after a break of 24 years. But now dates in Newcastle, Glasgow, Nottingham and Birmingham have been scrapped. A statement said the dates had been cancelled "due to unforeseen logistical circumstances", with the brothers offering "sincere apologies" to fans. Two shows at London's O2 arena will go ahead, as will a date at the Manchester arena on 22 August.
The first London date, on 19 August, marks the anniversary of their farewell show at Wembley Stadium in 1989. It sold out in seven seconds. However, there are several hundred tickets available for the remaining shows.
Property News - Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch has returned to the market at a discount price, after failing to find a buyer. The 2,700-acre property was put on sale for $100m two years ago, but the price has been slashed by a third to $67m (£54m). According to real estate website Joyce Rey, the house is "surrounded by manicured lawns, gardens, and magnificent trees, as well as a gorgeous lake with waterfall and swans, boat stops and beach". There's also a 14ft-deep pool, a tennis court, a cellar, a wet bar, a five-bay garage, a movie theatre, a dance studio, barns, corrals, a fire station, five staff houses, a ranch house and a Disney-themed train station with private bedrooms.
Age Matters - The New Vic Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent and Farnham Maltings are among the organisations sharing £1.4m in Arts Council England funding to create cultural opportunities for older people. The funding, via the National Lottery, has been awarded to 16 organisations to develop work with and for older people through ACE’s Celebrating Age programme. Outdoor arts festival Hat Fair has been awarded £75,560 to develop a two-year programme for older people, which includes a touring, immersive show based on the real lives of 90-year-olds.
Record Sales - Ed Sheeran's new album has become one of the fastest-selling releases ever in the UK, shifting 432,000 copies in just three days. Sheeran's third album, titled ÷ (Divide), has become a monster hit since its release on Friday. The all-time list for first-week sales has Adele's 25 and Oasis's Be Here Now at the top with 800,000 each. If Sheeran doesn't quite match them, he could go third on that list, above Take That's Progress, which sold 518,601.