Call to Arms - Industry leaders including National Theatre bosses Rufus Norris and Lisa Burger and Bristol Old Vic’s artistic director Tom Morris are calling on the sector to band together to fight for increased arts investment from a new government. They have issued the call to arms in an attempt to undo the effects of austerity-era cuts.
Their demands for increased arts funding from central government come alongside warnings that the regional theatre sector could “fall over” if support does not increase, and that the crisis facing organisations nationwide is “sharper and more acute” than has so far been publicly acknowledged.
As the UK prepares to head to the polls and with both Labour and the Conservatives promising a boost to public spending, theatre bosses have claimed now is the moment for a major policy shift around arts funding.
Morris said: “It is fantastic that militant austerity is now under review, and it is fantastic that there is more investment being talked about in health, social care, education and policing. But let’s not at the same time miss the opportunity of assessing what the impact of investment could be in the creative sector, the only sector of the economy that has grown year on year over the past 10 years.”
Theatre Collapse - Claims totalling more than £378,000 have been made against the collapsed Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre. The pop-up venue ran in York and Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire this summer under the company Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre Ltd. However, the company began liquidation pro
Record Breaker - At the American Music Awards, Taylor Swift was presented with the Artist of the Decade award by singer-songwriter Carole King who commended Swift for the strength of her lyrics, and the relatability of her music, predicting: "The best is yet to come." In turn, Swift acknowledged the impact King's music had had on her parents and her family, saying it was every musician's goal "to create something that will last".
The career-spanning honour wasn't Swift's only award at the ceremony - she picked up another five competitive awards, including artist of the year. That brings her total tally of AMA trophies to 29 - breaking a record held by Michael Jackson, who received 24 American Music Awards.
Secondary Ticketing - Andrew Lloyd Webber is joining forces with ticket resellers Twickets in a bid to beat touts. The theatrical grandee, whose LW playhouses include The London Palladium and the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, hopes the move will bring consumer-friendly ticket resale to the West End.
The new system means unwanted tickets bought at the box office can be resold for no more than the original price. Twickets will also add a fee of 10% to 13% of the face value. Rebecca Kane Burton, CEO at LW Theatres said: "We continue to strive to not only offer our customers an incredible experience, but also help them when things don't go to plan. Providing a safe, secure and easy way to resell tickets is best practice and yet another step LW Theatres is taking to innovate and improve theatre-going."
Twickets launched in 2015 as a more ethi
USA - ETC continued its commitment to caring for entertainment technology professionals in need by presenting a cheque to Behind the Scenes during LDI for $23,628.98. This represented the most recent proceeds from the company’s iRFR and aRFR (Radio Focus Remote) applications. Since the launch of the iRFR in 2009, ETC’s mobile app sales have now generated over $390,000 in donations.
The iRFR and aRFR mobile apps enable convenient, touchscreen-based remote control for Eos family consoles and controllers. You can learn more about the apps from the ETC website and download them from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
“We never imagined that this app would provide such continuous support to Behind the Scenes. ETC is grateful to all the people who have supported the Eos platform and purchased this app over the years,” comments Wendy Orfan, marketing communications manager at ETC. “ETC is proud to continue supporting the efforts of Behind the Scenes.”
Behind the Scenes will soon be hitting the major milestone of having provided $1,000,000 in grants,” commented Rick Rudolph, chair of BTS. “Fred’s early support was quickly taken up by the entire ETC organisation which has played such a major role in our ability to help so many of our colleagues in need. The heartfelt thanks and tears of gratitude we receive every day belong to ETC and all our contributors who make these moments possible.”
The Behind the Scenes charity provides entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured with grants that may be used for b
Get Back - One of the live industry’s worst-kept secrets has been confirmed: Sir Paul McCartney will headline Glastonbury in 2020. The former Beatle will top the bill on the Pyramid Stage on Saturday 27 June, a week after his 78th birthday. He last played the Somerset event in 2004, and organisers have long been keen to get him back for an encore. Next year will be Glastonbury's golden jubilee and co-organiser Emily Eavis says: “There really was no one that we wanted more for the 50th anniversary.”
Together Again - Mötley Crüe are to reform for a stadium tour of the US - less than five years after they played what they said would be their final ever show. Def Leppard and Poison will join them, but dates and venues are yet to be announced. Before their supposed farewell tour in 2014-2015, the band had signed what they said was a "cessation of touring agreement" at a press conference. But on Monday, they posted a video of that contract being blown up. The band said in a statement: "The contract is off the table because a whole new generation of Crüeheads are relentlessly demanding for the band to come back together."
Street Music - A screening of 42nd Street The Musical took £1.1m in its first week. Distributor More2Screen has confirmed the film achieved the best ever first week box office sales for an event cinema screening. It was screened at more than 600 venues.
CEO and founder of More2Screen Christine Costello said: “This tremendous box office result demonstrates the huge enthusiasm for watching West End musicals
UK - Penn Elcom has launched a new range of its premium flat pack 19" racking Credenzas, manufactured and tailored to meet the high standards of custom installers working in all market sectors - from commercial to residential and entertainment.
These are available in two, three, four, six, eight and 12U variants and in two high-quality wood-style finishes for maximum versatility in all types of built environment.
Demand for the products has been fuelled by numerous factors including changes in digital technology and the need to combine elements of home entertainment / smart-home and commercial / industrial systems into good looking integrated packages.
Each pack includes two pre-threaded steel rails and a set of four non-marking feet. The panels are specially made from tough 25mm high resin density melamine faced chipboard, which is durable, featuring 2mm solid wood edging for excellent strength and desirable aesthetics.
Penn R0863 rack-strip rails can be fitted at the rear for easy access, and there is a choice of two depths - 300mm / 11.81” or 500mm / 19.69” - designed to provide customers with the right unit to house all manner of rack hardware.
USA - Behind the Scenes reports that its recent Survey to Assist in the Development of a Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative in the Entertainment Industry received “an incredible response from the industry” with over 3,300 people completing the survey.
An initial look at the survey results confirmed that the long hours, pressures of deadlines, lack of resources, and uncertainty of employment have taken a very hard toll on our industry. These affect not only mental health, but physical health as well, and impact relationships with family and friends. Unsurprisingly, over 90% of respondents have experienced anxiety while over 80% have suffered from depression.
What is also apparent from the responses, and very encouraging, is that many individuals want to step up and help colleagues they feel are struggling but simply don’t know how and are very concerned about making things worse. BTS’ goal is to provide information and resources that will give industry members the confidence to act.
If you did not participate in the survey but would like to be kept informed of the initiative’s progress or participate in future surveys, please email email@example.com.
Czech Republic - Prague-based Elvia-Pro has taken on the distribution of German fibre network specialists BroaMan in the Czech Republic, following a request from private commercial station, TV Nova.
Formed in 1993, Elvia-Pro specialises in management, engineering and project work within the broadcast sector, and manufactures and installs equipment for OB and DSNG trucks, specialising in main broadcast organisations such as Czech TV, TV Nova, TV Prima, TV Barrandov and production houses.
It was TV Nova who were largely responsible for the new distribution arrangement. “They came to us with a request for BroaMan devices,” recalls Tomáš Kocáb, Elvia-Pro’s sales product specialist. BroaMan technical sales manager Maciek Janiszewski made a professional presentation at TV Nova, leading to the new distribution deal, which was formalised on the BroaMan stand at the IBC Show in Amsterdam.
“Aside from TV Nova, we had also received further BroaMan inquiries from TV Prima, while a film school requested a Repeat48,” Tomáš continues.
The company will now embark on an aggressive marketing campaign, as Tomáš Kocáb explains. “We have shown our Mux22 demo units to all the main broadcasters, and we also have Repeat48 in our professional ProfiCam Centrum showroom in Prague. We also present all BroaMan products on our professional web page (e-shop).”
USA - Producers, musicians, DJs and music industry professionals came together at the Capitol Studios in Hollywood earlier this week to honour producer Quincy Jones with an AKG Lifetime Achievement Award.
Held in Capitol’s historic A and B studios, guests were treated to a performance by Quincy Jones protégé and multi-Grammy award winner, Jacob Collier, along with a variety of immersive experiences that celebrated the microphone and headphone brand’s iconic past while showcasing its rich future. The evening culminated with host and broadcast journalist Nic Harcourt presenting Quincy Jones the AKG Lifetime Achievement Award, for Quincy’s contribution to music since the early 1950s.
“For almost seven decades in this business as a musician, composer, arranger, conductor and producer, I have always gone for the music that gives me goosebumps. And whether it was Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra and the Count Basie Orchestra, the Brothers Johnson, Michael Jackson, the artists who contributed to the recordings of We Are The World, right up until today, without fail that music was delivered through AKG audio products,” said Quincy Jones.
“As you celebrate your 70th anniversary, I have no doubt in my mind that AKG will continue to be an essential part of the music recording and listening experience for many, many more decades to come.”
“Throughout his legendary career, Quincy Jones has created some of the most iconic records in the history of the recording industry and we are honored to present him with a Lifetime Achi
On The Campaign Trail - Actors and theatre staff are being urged to make sure they have made arrangements to vote in next month’s election amid warnings that those working away from home on Christmas shows could be disenfranchised.
Matt Hood, Equity’s assistant general secretary, described the election date as “inconvenient for many”, adding: “For our members, many of whom will be working away from home on tour, in panto or filming, it runs the real risk of them losing their right to vote.”
Thomas Hescott, chief executive of Stage Directors UK, comments: “November and December is an extremely busy time of the year for our members, many of whom are working away from home on Christmas shows. The short notice means many of our members are already away working and so have little opportunity to organise postal ballots. We are concerned that our members will struggle to be able to vote in such an important election.”
Safety First - Theatre staff working at the Piccadilly Theatre on the night its ceiling collapsed have been praised for their “quick and professional actions”. Industry body the Society of London Theatre said front-of-house staff and emergency services handled the situation quickly and safely. “We were immensely impressed with the quick and professional actions of staff and emergency services at the Piccadilly Theatre. More than 1,000 theatregoers were safely and calmly evacuated from the theatre by well-trained staff, who have been commended by many people attending the performance,” it said in a statement.
USA - Newly-elected ESTA board members are Todd Spencer, PSAV, for president; Alan M. Rowe, IATSE Local 728, returns for his second term as organisational director, and Joe Aldridge as individual director. These terms of office begin on 1 January 2020 and run through 31 December 2022.
ESTA and its members wish to thank outgoing board members Jules Lauve of Theatre Projects Consultants and Dana Taylor for their dedicated service.
Major Revamp - The Brit Awards have announced a major revamp for 2020, with fewer awards and an end to fan votes. Organisers promise "more music" as a result, with artists being given full creative control of their performances. Prizes like Best British Video and Best International Group have been cut, while the outstanding contribution award has been retired for 2020. Despite press reports earlier this year, gendered awards will remain part of the ceremony.
The changes come after several years of falling ratings. This year's ceremony, which saw performances from Pink, Dua Lipa and George Ezra, was watched by 4.1m people, down 400,000 from 2018.
This year, all awards will be decided by a 1,200-strong "official voting academy", made up of “experts” from all areas of the music industry. Brits chairman David Joseph explained the changes, saying: "We will be putting creativity, British culture and exceptional performances at the heart of the show to make Brits night a world class celebration.”
MTV EMAs - BTS won three categories at this year's MTV Europe Music Awards held on 3 November in Seville. The K-pop seven-piece won in the best group, best live and biggest fans categories. Flying the flag for the UK were Little Mix (Best UK & Ireland Act), Liam Gallagher (Rock Icon) and FKA Twigs (Best Alternative). Ariana Grande and Lil Nas X came away empty-handed, despite starting the night with seven and six nominations respectively. Niall Horan, Halsey and Mabel were among the performers, while US singer Becky G hosted. Liam Gallagher closed
Property Moves - An immersive Monopoly experience is the first show to be announced under a new partnership between Selladoor Worldwide and games company Hasbro Inc. The collaboration will see the theatre company and Hasbro adapt more boardgames into live experiences in the future. While further productions have not yet been confirmed, other boardgames in Hasbro’s portfolio include Cluedo, Risk, Trivial Pursuit, Twister and Operation.
Monopoly will run at a location in London which is yet to be announced in 2020. The experience will include a 75-minute segment where teams will compete to win tasks in order to move along the board, buy properties, and attempt to win the game. Features from the game including famous London landmarks, chance, community chest and jail will all be “brought to life” in a space that will also feature cafes, bars and shops.
David Hutchinson, chief executive of Selladoor Worldwide, said: “We’ve been working for over a year with Hasbro on this exciting partnership, developing our concept and vision to bring one of the world’s biggest board game brands to life in this thrilling experiential theatre landscape. Trends in our sector are moving in a very exciting direction with demand from a new generation of theatregoers looking to experience live theatre differently, and to be immersed in the world of the narrative in a different way.”
Vice-president of location-based entertainment at Hasbro, Matt Proulx, added: “Launching the Monopoly experience in London n
Lead Guitar - Some of the biggest names in rock and roll including Sir Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Steve Winwood, Mark Knopfler, Pete Townshend, Albert Lee, David Gilmour, Joe Brown, Richard Thompson and Dave Pegg have signed a guitar to be auctioned in honour of stroke victim Jerry Donahue.
In 2016, American guitarist Jerry Donahue suffered a catastrophic stroke, almost certainly ending his career as one of the world’s finest folk-rock guitarists. The former Fairport Convention, Fotheringay and Hellecasters guitarist, was regarded by the music media as an extremely talented musician with an extraordinary technical approach to string bending.
“To have so many famous signatures on this guitar is a fantastic achievement,” says close friend Dave Pegg, bassist in Fairport convention. “We know that the guitar will raise many thousands of pounds and all the money raised from the auction will go towards Jerry's rehabilitation in the USA.”
The guitar itself, donated by John Hornby Skewes, is Jerry Donahue’s own Vintage Signature V58, built to his own specifications as a collaboration with specialist guitar and hardware designer Trevor Wilkinson and JHS managing director Dennis Drumm.
The auction, to be held at Gardiner Houlgate’s Bath Auction rooms, on 11 December 2019, is expected to attract attention from collectors and music fans from all over the world.
Sound Move - The Dolby Institute has partnered with the AES Educational Foundation to offer the Dolby Institute Scholarship, award
Glastonbury 2020 - Tickets for next year's Glastonbury Festival sold out in just over half an hour. All 135,000 tickets for the 2020 event were bought within 34 minutes, according to organisers. Demand for the Somerset festival far outstripped supply, as 2.4m people registered to try to attend.
Glastonbury celebrates its 50th year in 2020, and big acts are expected to be booked to appear on the various stages at Worthy Farm. Sir Paul McCartney has hinted he may return to play the festival in its anniversary year.
Emily Eavis, daughter of founder Michael, tweeted: "We have now sold out. Thank you all for your incredible, continued support. Demand was higher than ever, with over 2.4 million people registered. Bring on 2020!"
Carbon Neutral Theatre - Shell’s membership of the National Theatre will come to an end next year, as the arts organisation unveils an accelerated goal of making itself carbon neutral in the face of the climate emergency. The National Theatre lists fossil fuel company Shell as one of its corporate Gold members. Prices for this band of membership begin at £15,000 a year.
It has not been made clear whose decision it was for the partnership to end in June 2020, but a statement from the National Theatre said: “Shell have been valued and longstanding supporters of the National Theatre, most recently as corporate members – this membership will come to an end in June 2020.”
The end of Shell’s association with the theatre follows earlier news that the Royal Shakespeare Company has ended its longstanding partn
Gendered Awards - The Brit Awards say they will review the way they distribute prizes, with one option being the abolition of separate male and female categories. But reports that gendered awards have already been axed are "based on rumour and speculation", organisers said. "We can 100% confirm that there will be male and female awards in the UK and international categories in February 2020," they told the BBC.
The statement was issued after a story in The Sunday Times at the weekend claimed organisers wanted to accommodate non-binary artists - who identify as neither male nor female - and that scrapping gender-specific categories was the likely outcome. The report came a week after pop star Sam Smith asked fans to call them by the pronouns "they/them", not "he/him". "After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out," they wrote on Instagram.
Rumours of the Brit Awards shake-up prompted an outburst from Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan, who accused organisers of "wrecking" their reputation.
Live in Birmingham - Wizkid has been announced as the headline act for this year's BBC Radio 1Xtra Live music event. The Nigerian singer will join the likes of French Montana, Ms Banks, Aitch and DaniLeigh at Arena Birmingham on 5 October. Other acts performing at the event include Headie One, Miraa May, Stylo G, and Lil Tecca.
Joseph Returns - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is set to return to the London Palladium next year for a second summer run. Th
UK - The PLASA Awards for Innovation, organised in collaboration with LSi magazine, took place at the end of a vibrant Monday at the PLASA Show 2019. The Awards recognise and reward pioneering product designs and the people behind them and are widely respected as they are independently judged by a team of industry experts with a variety of specialist backgrounds.
This year saw 36 entries for the Awards, with the judges selecting seven winners and one Gold Award winner.
The winners, along with the judges comments, are:
Nexo for the P12 Point-source loudspeaker
“This is the ‘loudspeaker version of a source 4’ having interchangeable horns with tool-less interchangeability.”
Robe for Esprite
“This advances technical practice by increasing the potential lifespan of LED fixtures, hopefully setting the model for other manufacturers to follow.”
Theatrixx for its 8-bay Reversible Rackmount Converter
“A simple solution to the wired mess that media conversion can entail which is robust and effective.”
SSE for The Azimuth
“This will really help audio companies bring accurate panning to the angle of the dangle in immersive audio applications – it’s simple, effective and well-engineered.”
ETC for Augment3d
“This will change the way lighting design and operation works by increasing speed in the lighting workflow and making the process of design to conception easier to manage.”
The doors have opened for day two of PLASA Show 2019 at London Olympia, with Platinum Sponsor Robe, Silver Sponsor d&b audiotechnik and Technical Sponsor Hawthorn. The show floor is already brimming with business as visitors explore the latest products and solutions from 220+ brands from across audio, AV, lighting, rigging and staging.
The show’s platinum sponsor Robe have unveiled an expansive theatrical stand based on the classic 80s movie, Back To The Future. Live performances run every 90 minutes, with a viewing area on the show’s gallery level for visitors to watch from above. The creative duo behind the stand, Nathan Wan and Andy Webb, comment:
“Robe’s stand this year features a fully time coded show called ‘Return to the Future’ which is centred around a time travelling DeLorean car. During the show we smash through over 550 cues in eight minutes. It’s all about showcasing the new Esprite which is future-proofing LED moving heads as you can take the source out and simply replace it. This has absolutely been the most ambitious production that we’ve done to date, and it’s great to see on social media that many visitors come to PLASA Show just to see what we’ve come up with. We’ve been working on ‘Return to the Future’ for three months and it has been an absolute delight to see it all come together.”
Other lighting highlights include, Claypaky demonstrating their new Xtylos fixtures in an immersive enclosure, Ambersphere presenting the SpotM
USA - The deadline for ordering 2019 Behind the Scenes Holiday Cards is just two weeks away. These cards were created especially for Behind the Scenes and are a great way to spread holiday cheer while bringing help and hope to your colleagues in need. The order deadline is 30 September. Orders may be placed at behindthescenescharity.org/holidaycards.
Three card ordering options are offered: card packs of 10 with a standard greeting, personalized cards with a company logo and custom message (minimum order 250 cards), and electronic versions for delivery by email. All proceeds benefit the Behind the Scenes charity which provides financial assistance to entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured. Six new designs are featured this year.
All proceeds benefit the Behind the Scenes charity which provides financial assistance to entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured. For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, visit www.behindthescenedscharity.org.
Europe - From The Road to the Billboard Music Awards with NBC Universal, to the Thanksgiving Parade Celebrations in New York City, and a recent show in Las Vegas, Production Zync Entertainment are cementing their partnership in the world of design and production, and PRG has supported a diverse range of productions for them across the world.
Over the last seven months PRG has been working closely with newly formed Production Zync Entertainment, on the delivery and execution of a range of television, music, sport and live projects, from studio to arena across Europe, the US, and the UK.
PRG has provided Production Zync with a fully supported ‘one stop shop’ technical production solution across multiple territories, including equipment, crew, transportation, logistics, and pre-visualisation support.
With sites in London and Los Angeles, Production Zync combines production lighting design and complete production solutions, with technical provision.
The label was jointly founded by ITV’s former head of scenic and lighting (The London Studios) Dave Stevens, and production & lighting designer / director of production Steff Jones. Dave serves as managing director, with Jones as creative director & director of production.
The label specialises in the design, management, execution and delivery of the A to Z in production from inception to execution of TV shows, to international tours and music videos, to one-off bespoke live projects and events.
Dave spent almost 30 years at ITV’s The London Studios where he headed up li
Glastonbury Records - Kylie Minogue's decades-spanning greatest hits set has become the most-watched Glastonbury performance ever, according to BBC figures. An average audience of 3.2m people tuned in to see her play the festival's legend slot, beating previous highs set by Ed Sheeran and Adele. Viewership peaked at 3.9m during the closing minutes of Kylie's set, as she played Dancing and Spinning Around. The emotional show came 14 years after a cancer diagnosis forced the star to pull out of a planned headline slot.
This year's Glastonbury saw a significant shift in viewership, with audiences increasingly choosing to catch up with performances online. The total number of online requests, including YouTube views, iPlayer requests and live streams, reached 37.5m - an increase of 86% from 2017 (Glastonbury took a year off in 2018). However, TV viewership was down - from 23m in 2017 to 21.1m this year; although that figure is still the second-highest on record.
Rebranding Potter - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has unveiled new branding and a new logo at its London home, bringing the theatre production in line with the book and film franchise worldwide. Producers said the global expansion of the play meant that they now wanted to “coordinate the marketing of the show around the world so there was consistency across all territories”.
Written by Jack Thorne and based on a story by Thorne, director John Tiffany and Harry Potter creator JK Rowling, the play premiered in London in 2016, featuring a new story set 19 yea
UK - Taking place today, Tuesday 10 September, World Suicide Prevention Day hopes to raise awareness for the cause. Each year, death by suicide is listed in the top 20 causes of loss of life globally for people of all ages and is responsible for over 800,000 deaths. That’s a lost life every 40 seconds - and the impact can be catastrophic.
According to World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) research, “For each suicide, approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected. This amounts to 108 million people per year who are profoundly impacted by suicidal behaviour.”
People working within the music industry are three times more likely to experience a mental health problem, at a rate of approximately 36,000 people per year, putting both musicians, road crew, artist managers and multiple occupations in between at risk.
Road crew worldwide experience mental health difficulties. Entertainment Assist, an Australian-based support hub documented in 2017: “In the last 12 months, Australian entertainment industry workers experienced suicide ideation 5-7 times more than the general population and two-three times more over a lifetime. In the last 12 months, road crew members experienced suicide ideation almost nine times more than the general population. Rates of suicide ideation, planning and attempts are extremely high and indicate a need for early intervention programs tailored to the industry.”
Touring director and production manager, Jim Digby, has worked with Linkin Park for over 16 years. The loss of the band’s frontma
USA - Three new or revised standards are available for public review on the ESTA TSP website at estalink.us/pr.
Those materially affected by the proposals is invited to review them and to offer comments before the deadline.
BSR E1.62, Minimum specifications for mass-produced portable platforms, ramps, stairs, and choral risers for live performance events is being offered for a fourth public review. The proposed standard covers mass-produced portable platforms, stair units and ramps used with those platforms, and choral risers, designed to be used for the presentation of music concerts, dramatic plays, fashion shows, and other entertainment and special events. The units covered by this standard are of a size and weight that allows them to be moved and erected by one or two people. The scope also covers the railings provided as fall protection accessories, and the legging systems. The public review runs through to 23 September.
BSR E1.4-3, Entertainment Technology - Manually Operated Hoist Rigging Systems, is a standard for permanently installed, human-powered manually operated hoists, used as part of rigging systems for raising, lowering, and suspension of scenery, properties, lighting, and similar loads This standard establishes requirements for the design, manufacture, installation, inspection, and maintenance of manual hoist systems for lifting and suspension of loads for performance, presentation, and theatrical product
Hey Jude - China's oldest symphony orchestra played their first ever BBC Prom on Sunday, and after playing pieces by Rachmaninov and Mozart, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra launched into a raucous version of The Beatles' Hey Jude in a surprise encore. Conductor Long Yu encouraged Prommers to sing along, which they did, before giving the players a standing ovation. "We're very happy," said Yu. "Please accept our warm wish from Shanghai." The concert marked the end of the orchestra's 140th anniversary tour, which began in the US three weeks ago.
Picture Post - Sir Elton John features on a new set of Royal Mail stamps to celebrate his contribution to music. The singer-songwriter is only the second individual music artist to be given such an honour, with David Bowie featuring in 2017. Eight of the Sir Elton stamps feature images of some of his most popular album covers. They include his 1972 breakthrough record Honky Chateau which features the track Rocket Man.
The album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road which features the songs Candle In The Wind, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting and Bennie And The Jets, is also celebrated.Caribou is another one of the albums that features on one of the stamps. Also commemorated is Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy from 1975, which features Someone Saved My Life Tonight, with its cover designed by Gianni Versace. On Your Feet! - Gloria Estefan musical On Your Feet! is being lined up for a second summer run in the West End. Produ
Motown Gold - Stevie Wonder's Superstition has topped the chart of the most popular Motown tracks of all time in the UK. The 1972 single beat classics by the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell and the Temptations. The list of the top 100 Motown tracks was compiled by the Official Chart Company based on all time downloads and streams.
"I am proud to have been chosen at the top of such an incredibly talented group of artists," said Wonder. Overall the singer-songwriter legend had the most songs on the list with 20. His next most popular track was Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours), which came in at five.
The Empire Strikes Back - A new campaign group has been set up to bring the at risk Garston Empire in Liverpool back into use as an entertainment venue. The building has been disused for 10 years and was placed on the Theatres Trust Theatres at Risk Register in 2009 due to threat of demolition. Having opened in 1915, the Garston Empire operated as a theatre for three years before becoming a cinema. Its last use was as a bingo hall, which ended when it closed in 2009.
Now, a group of local residents, led by businessman Tony Murray, hope to see the building “returned to its glory days” as a theatre and multi-use entertainment venue. The venue has an estimated capacity of 1,000. Murray, who has previously worked as a bingo-caller at Hackney Empire in London, said: “The idea just came to me in a flash one day. I know that they have turned the Hackney Empire into a roaring success and I thought we could do the same thing