UK - Television lighting rental specialists Version 2 has appointed Laura Byrne to its account management team. She brings considerable experience from the film, TV drama, commercial and music video genres to the company.
Starting her career with rental giants Panalux, Laura was part of the rental desk team at the company’s’ busy Waxlow Road operation. A move to global lighting company Cinelease subsequently followed. Most recently, Byrne worked with equipment supplier LCA.
As account manager at Version 2, Byrne will be liaising with DoPs, LDs, gaffers and production managers to offer support and advise on all aspects of the production process.
Managing director Nick Edwards comments: "I’m excited to be welcoming Laura to our management team, I see many similarities between our career paths, her enthusiasm for the industry is clear. Laura has not only a proven in-depth equipment knowledge but she also understands the importance of strong customer support.”
UK - inspHire has announced the appointment of Martin Bestwick as sales director. Martin’s promotion from general manager coincides with the rental software providers recent acquisition by Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) and is geared towards inspHire further strengthening its position in the UK and globally.
When asked about his appointment, Martin says, “I’m incredibly excited and very much looking forward to the challenge. I’ve worked in the rental industry and have helped deliver value for inspHire’s customers for some time now. Whether that be through implementing solutions which introduce operational efficiencies, or helping prospects and customers discover the true value in any potential investment.”
Graham Dobbs, inspHire managing director adds, “Understanding the wants and needs of rental businesses, being empathetic to the challenges they face and taking a collaborative approach to developing solutions to address these challenges is what we’re all about. The depth in Martins knowledge and experience across all of these areas enables us to continue to progress and enhance the services as well as products we offer.”
UK - Sparq, part of Saville Group, the technical event production specialist which underwent a brand transformation six months ago, is strengthening its senior leadership team with the appointment of John Moore as head of national operations.
Moore has been brought on board to spearhead Sparq’s ambitious growth strategy and oversee the operational direction of the brand, as it continues to develop its 360 technical event production offering. Moore’s remit will focus on improving efficiency across the division, developing and implementing strategic change, together with growing the specialisms and expertise within the national operations team.
Colin Nixey, managing director of Sparq, comments, “Following our rebrand in September, the last six months have been really momentous for us as a company. Our brand transformation formed part of a wider strategy to ensure we remain competitive and innovative, while continuing to deliver an exceptional service to our clients. This also included reviewing our operations and ensuring we have the very best people in place to achieve our strategy for success.
“John’s appointment is central to this strategy, and with his wealth of experience across the industry, there is no doubt that he will play a key role in driving forward the brand. John is a fantastic asset to our expanding leadership team and after an impressive career ‘sabbatical’ we’re delighted to be welcoming him back to the Sparq team.”
Merging Venues - Venue operators AEG Facilities and SMG - which runs arenas in Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle - have announced a merger, creating a new company: ASM Global. The company will be based in Los Angeles and will operate more than 310 venues across five continents.
SMG Europe, a subsidiary of SMG, currently operates venues such as the Manchester Arena, the First Direct Arena in Leeds, and Utilita Arena in Newcastle. AEG Facilities is the venue management arm of AEG and will own 50% of the company, with the other half owned by Onex, the parent company of SMG.
SMG chief executive Wes Westley described the move as a “major step for our industry”. He adds: “We are excited to bring together these complementary businesses to further elevate the standard of excellence in venue management. We plan to accelerate innovation by combining our expertise to deliver increased value and offer enhanced capabilities to municipalities and venue owners worldwide.”
All Together Now - Michael Rice, who won BBC talent show All Together Now last year, has been chosen to fly the flag for the UK at this year's Eurovision Song Contest. The 21-year-old from Hartlepool, who was also on The X Factor in 2014, was picked in a TV viewers' vote. He will now travel to Israel in May in the hope of impressing Eurovision fans with his rousing anthem Bigger Than Us.
Special Delivery - The Specials have thanked fans after scoring their first-ever number one album - 40 years on from the release of their debut. Encore, the
Record Takings - West End theatres enjoyed record box office takings of £766m in 2018, up 8.6% compared with the previous year. This was driven by ticket sales for musicals such as Hamilton, with revenue from the genre increasing by 15.4% in 2017 to £504m. The average ticket price paid for musicals was £53.27. A recent survey by The Stage revealed that the average top-price ticket for a musical in 2018 cost £153.54.
As well as having the highest box office revenue since records began, West End theatres also had record audience attendances of 15.5m, up 3%. However, while audiences for musicals were up, attendance for West End plays dropped by 6.5%.
Commenting on the figures, SOLT president Kenny Wax says: “London’s world-leading theatre industry is attracting larger audiences than ever after another record year. Increasingly, people seem to want to invest in high-quality cultural experiences, and the West End is benefiting from this trend.”
Fiddling On - Trevor Nunn’s production of Fiddler on the Roof has announced a West End transfer and will play at the Playhouse Theatre from March. At present, the musical revival is running at the Menier Chocolate Factory, starring Andy Nyman and Judy Khun, who will both reprise their roles in the transfer. The production will take place in a “reconfigured” auditorium, and the full cast is yet to be announced.
Farewell - Daryl Dragon, one half of 70s duo The Captain & Tennille has died aged 76. "He was a brilliant musician with many friends who loved h
Europe - MDG reports that Nicolas Duhamel has returned to the company full-time to become its marketing and European business development director. Duhamel, who worked MDG’s marketing manager part-time, will now be responsible for the company’s marketing activities globally and be the central point of call for European distributors whilst seeking out new opportunities to develop the brand across Europe.
Duhamel had previously spent two years at MDG, overseeing the overhaul of its marketing resources including the creation of a new website. After returning to his native France in 2016 to take up a position in event management, he has now returned to MDG full-time.
"Nicolas never left us completely as he continued to look after our marketing part-time, so we are delighted to welcome him back to the MDG family full time,” says MDG president & CEO, Martin Michaud. “Nicolas has played an important part in the MDG story over the past five years, and with his experience and passion for the brand, I have no doubt that he will do so again in the years to come. There are exciting times ahead for MDG."
"Atmospheric effects have been a real passion for me and, since I first saw MDG products in February 1996, it was my dream to work for this amazing company that has so much history,” says Duhamel. “Working with these talented people over the years has been a great pleasure, and I'm thrilled and honoured to be able to come back and see that dream continue to the next stage." Duhamel will be based in the south of France.
Europe - Typhoon is ER’s newest product, a CO2-free confetti blower designed to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emitted in the industry.
Typhoon is not only a ‘greener’ product but is compact, stackable, easy to control, adjustable and versatile, says the company.
Typhoon’s adaptable design allows it to not only be rigged on top of truss but also flown, allowing for huge confetti hits at large-scale events. Typhoon works via a set of powerful but silent fans, which push confetti out through a specially-designed tunnel, and a controllable-hopper evenly distributes it.
David Holmes, ER’s technical manager who designed Typhoon, comments: “I love the finished product. The brief from ER’s co-founder and director, Ryan Hagan, was to build a confetti blower that would be able to run on electricity, without using the harmful greenhouse gas, and we have done exactly that.
“Other models on the market are cumbersome and don’t have the ability to be flown. Typhoon gives designers more flexibility to create something really amazing at their shows.”
Typhoon is constructed with an aluminium frame with steel panels and weighs 90kg, and the voltage is 200 to 270 or 50/60hz. It holds 10kg of confetti and can be adjusted to how much and how far you want the confetti to be distributed, enabling vast coverage across an audience.
ER debuted the CO2-free confetti blower at the 2018 Ozzfest at the LA Forum, where units were positioned on a U-shaped truss over the audience, creating a snow blizzard effect during carefully-planned
UK - Cardiff-based events specialist 11th Hour recently took possession of additional warehouse premises to cope with the demands of its continued expansion. Its 6,000sq.ft of space will be assigned to 11th Hour’s growing festive ice-rink operations, allowing the entire inventory of rink apparatus to be stored independently, close to its principal Cardiff Bay operations base.
Growing demand for its ice rink services in 2018 saw 11th Hour install new rinks in Swansea, Caerphilly Castle and Aberystwyth, adding to its established Cardiff, Celtic Manor and Bargoed sites. More locations are expected to be brought onstream in 2019.
Business development manager Jason Venables comments: “We’re conscious of always trying to remain ahead of the curve at 11th Hour. It’s important to ensure that our processes and logistics remain up to speed in the face of ever-growing demand for our services. Our new facility enables us to maintain, operate and store our ice rink provision in its own dedicated space. Whilst the rest of our kit is in and out of the warehouse on a year-round basis, it made sense to separate out what is a specifically seasonal part of our business, with a view to streamlining our day to day operations.” Investing in the new premises has already allowed 11th Hour’s new warehouse manager Mike Coles and his assistant Matt Stone to re-align and optimise the use of the company’s main warehouse.
Jason Venables continues: “The dismantling and storage of our rinks at this time of year has previously had the capacity to cause some disrup
Night Train to Georgia - Gladys Knight has accepted an invitation to perform the Star Spangled Banner at this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show, which is being held in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia on 3 February. It was confirmed this week that the halftime show will be performed by Maroon 5, with rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi supporting.
There has been criticism directed at some black artists for failing to show solidarity with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kapaernick, who has been without a club since 2016 after “taking a knee” during the performance of the anthem in protest against racial injustices. Artists including Rihanna and Cardi B reportedly turned down the show, traditionally seen as a massive opportunity for artists to be seen by a TV audience of hundreds of millions.
Gladys is now facing similar criticism but, in a statement to Variety she said she intends to "give the anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life."
- Five areas in England will benefit from a new £20m Cultural Development Fund. Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright, who announced the winning areas, said the fund would help people build careers in the arts and culture locally but "also boost wider investment and diversify the creative economy". He said: "Creativity, arts and heritage make our towns and cities unique and our communities better places to live. The five areas are:
The Netherlands - ELC Lighting has announced that Production Resource Group (PRG) has made a significant investment in ELC's GBX Distribution System.
Specifically tailored for live entertainment applications, the GBX Distribution System transforms how DMX can be distributed from an ethernet network. Recognising this, PRG has purchased multiple units, including ELC’s switchGBx10 and switchGBx18 switches, nodeGBx8 nodes, and the innovative new nodeGBx8 Slave node.
Bob Walpot, director of operations and asset strategy at PRG Europe, says, “With this investment, we evaluated various brands and involved our technical teams from our various markets and segments. ELC was the preferred choice because of the technical and financial efficiency of the products. The Slave node is the perfect example of this. It has been really well thought through. Without losing any technical advantages, they have cut costs drastically.”
Walpot adds: “ELC also listened clearly to our specific needs and provided a tailor-made solution.”
That solution included the addition of Neutrik opticalCON Advanced Duo fibre optic ports, mounted directly onto the units, as requested by PRG.
“This will make the units even more flexible in their use,” says Walpot. “As a global company, it is essential that the equipment we buy is widely applicable. We provide a 360° service in various market segments, all with specific needs. With the flexibility of the new ELC range we are able to serve all these markets in a cost-efficient way.”
The new ELC GBX Distribu
UK - Penn Elcom, manufacturer of 19-inch racking and flight case hardware, has expanded the latch producing line its Washington, Tyne & Wear UK base, adding three new jobs, and 10 new machines as part of a £50,000 investment to update and expand its production of latching mechanisms.
Nearly everything needs a latch of some sort, and multiple types and styles of Penn latches are made here - for a range of flightcase and 19-inch racking products used in all sectors of the entertainment, professional AV and IT industries. This includes anything from technical rental company equipment flight cases to installed racking systems housing amplifiers, servers and other devices.
The investment and reorganisation of the latch line took just five months and will boost capacity by 30% to over 2m latching parts per year. It has been overseen by Penn Washington production manager Steve Langdon.
The Latches are made available worldwide via Penn Elcom’s international distribution network which covers all continents and countries.
Sixteen skilled people are now dedicated to the latch production element of Penn’s UK manufacturing operation, producing a variety of latches.
The machinery itself comprises a mix of old and new bifurcated rivet machines which include some that are pedal operated, fully guarded and yield approximately 120 finished parts per hour.
“It has been a fantastic project,” states Steve, “our goal was to create a pleasant, modern working space for employees that we could also showcase to our customers as a well-plann
UK - Devon-based specialists for LED visual effects, drapes and starcloths S+H Technical supplied 550sq.m of its LED starcloth product to help realise designer Joshua Grace’s set for ITV’s Best Christmas Ever.
The show, a Christmas special, was hosted by Alexander Armstrong with a live audience on D Stage at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, and was produced by Remarkable, part of the Endemol Shine Group.
Armstrong invited celebrity guests to his winter lodge to discuss their favourite elements of the season, and a member of the audience had the chance to win a Best Christmas Ever hamper. A house band played popular Christmas tunes, with some of guests joining in for a sing-along.
Josh wanted a twinkly festive feel for the show and to suit the environment - a cosy fireside chat scenario with a wintry forest scene visible through the windows of the lodge!
The brief was to provide a warm, cosy and festive set for Armstrong to present his evening Christmas fun with a selection of interesting and entertaining guests. The theatrical scenery evoked winter lodge style tones and textures - lots of warm wood and decorated Christmas trees inside, juxtaposed against a winter night with frosty trees outside.
The RGB starcloth enhanced and accentuated these atmospheres, and the product was used both as a back layer through the lodge windows, and to wrap around the back of the audience for the reverse camera shots.
“I wanted to make the whole studio, including the audience, twinkly - both like a night sky and like snowfall,
The Netherlands - Peerless-AV has announced its new, outdoor Smart City Kiosk. The Smart City Kiosk combines functionality and aesthetics and can endure the rigours of everyday use when unattended, says the company.
Four models are available in the new Smart City Kiosk line - 49" or 55" with Peerless-AV’s Xtreme High Bright Outdoor Display included (KOP2549-XHB-EUK, KOP2555-XHB-EUK), or as a kiosk enclosure only, designed for 46" or 55" Samsung OHF Displays (KOP2546-OHF-EUK, KOP2555-OHF-EUK). The new all-weather rated solution is suitable for sharing corporate or community information, travel and weather details, as well as wayfinding, advertising, entertainment and more.
“Our new Smart City Kiosk opens up many new opportunities in the outdoor AV market,” says Keith Dutch, managing director - EMEA, Peerless-AV. “We’ve received positive feedback from partners and customers for its robust yet modern design, customisation options, competitive warranties and pricing.”
Singapore - Serapid Group, a supplier of lifts, quick die change and horizontal transfer systems, has announced that as part of its international growth strategy Serapid has opened a new company in Singapore, with Robert Degenkolb, formerly of J.R. Clancy, joining the organisation as managing director.
Degenkolb has 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry in project management and sales and most recently as managing director of J.R. Clancy‘s Singapore operation. He will remain based in Singapore where he has been residing since 2011. Prior to Singapore, Robert worked as a project manager for J.R. Clancy and oversaw the successful completion of numerous entertainment projects in both domestic and international markets.
As part of the opening of the Singapore office, Ivan Seigneur has transferred from Serapid France to join Robert in the role of technical manager, and Yu Rong Chen (sales manager, China) will also now report to Degenkolb.
The opening and resourcing of the office is part of Serapid’s on-going strategic growth plan and reflects the increasing volume of work that Serapid is securing within the Asian region. Iain Forbester (vice president business development) stated, “The opening of the new company in Singapore and its initial resourcing reflects Serapid’s commitment to the region and the desire to provide better service and support. This is the first step towards establishing a much stronger regional presence. As well as sales and mark
UK - PLASA has announced the latest changes to its Board, with Koy Neminathan appointed as the Manufacturer’s Representative and Matt Lloyd moving in to the role of Vice-Chair. These changes were voted for by PLASA manufacturer members and Board members respectively, and the terms began at the start of 2019.
Koy Neminathan, sales director for Avolites, will represent the best interests of manufacturers from all sectors. His experience of working at all levels within a major brand provides him with the practical skills and in-depth knowledge to ensure that manufacturers are supported and understood on a wide range of issues. Former Manufacturer’s Representative and well-known industry figure, Matt Lloyd has moved to the role of Vice-Chair. Lloyd’s expertise come from his vast experience within the industry which includes being the co-founder of GDS. Meanwhile, previous Vice-Chair, Martin Hawthorn is stepping down after 10 years of serving with the Board, but will continue to work closely with PLASA across the association’s activities and events.
Elsewhere on the PLASA Board, Dave Crump, president of Creative Technology has been re-elected as Rental and Production Representative, and all other members remain in their current positions.
PLASA is the leading membership body for the live entertainment technology industry which champions its members and the wider industry through annual trade shows, market-leading publications, and by campaigning on issues of concern. Each Boar
Vital Statistics - Almost a quarter of young adults never go to the theatre, preferring to stay at home to watch TV or use social media, according to new research. A study of 2,000 18 to 30-year-olds found that 24% of respondents said they never attend theatre performances, with this figure higher among men than women. And 20% of respondents said they go once a year, with 27% attending two to three times a year.
Of those surveyed, 51% said they most enjoyed watching TV in their spare time, compared to 11% who chose going to the theatre. More respondents chose using social media (36%) over a trip to a theatre production. The survey found that ticket prices was the top factor which, if improved, would encourage young adults to attend the theatre more regularly.
Respondents also said they would welcome interactive technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, if they were made available as part of visits. People who were taken to shows as a child were more likely to continue visits as an adult, with 59% now going at least once a year. Of those who never went to the theatre as children, 65% have never gone as adults. The poll was carried out for specialist insurers Ecclesiastical, which operates in the arts, heritage, education and church sectors.
In The Courts - A US judge has rejected a legal case accusing Ed Sheeran of copying parts of Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On to be dropped. In his decision, District Judge Louis Stanton said a jury should decide. He said he found "substantial similarities between several of the two works' mu
Europe/Asia - Two teams will take part in the 2019 Mongol Rally to raise money for technical entertainment charity Backup.
The rally, which takes place in July and spans 10,000 miles from the Czech Republic to Ulan Ude in Russia, requires participants to ride a very small vehicle, with no support or set route to the finish line, which must be crossed in four to eight weeks.
Team Backup, comprising Salvador Avila, Ethan Forde and Duncan McLean, are aiming to raise £50,000 for the charity, with team The Nomadic Numpties of ‘Turbo’ Anthony Hall and ‘Henri’ Abby Cooper targeting a further £1,000.
Team Backup will ride a 2001 Toyota Yaris with over 121,000 miles on the clock. Meanwhile, Team Nomadic Numpties are looking for ideas from the industry on turning their car, Poppy, into a mobile mirror ball.
“It won’t be easy, and the drive is fraught with danger,” says Duncan Mclean, a video and projection designer based in London and New York, who has worked in theatre, TV and large-scale live events for the past 15 years. “There will be highs and lows, the car will breakdown - a lot - and friendships will be pushed to their limits.
“But our goal is to raise £50,000 for Backup and we’re aiming to get manufacturers, hire companies
USA - With holiday shows, tours and our personal circumstances to balance, the holiday season can pass in a blur. Each year at Bandit Lites, team members are provided funds and encouraged to take an afternoon to come together to serve their communities and children in need.
“I look forward to this event every year because it brings us all together and provides Christmas wish for children in need,” says Bandit Lites HR coordinator Cori Link.
Link and office manager Lisa Fodge spearheaded this year’s efforts to give back, gathering Christmas lists and dropping off the bundles to the charities.
In Nashville, Erich Hudgens, Bandit Lites shop foreman spent the afternoon shuttling multiple groups out to shop for children, participating in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree programme. After choosing a child themselves, team members fulfill the wishes as seasoned road warriors shop for Paw Patrol toys, dolls and clothes.
Team members at Bandit’s world headquarters in Knoxville purchased gifts for local children who had hung wish lists at Angel Tree locations around the city. Knoxville’s Angel Tree has provided aid to the county for over 25 years, and desired items ranged from toys to simple everyday needs like coats, shoes and toothbrushes.
“I personally thought that this was a great time to share in giving back, together, as an office and a company,” explains Fodge. “It really enhanced the ‘team’ mentality we have a Bandit.”
“Most of us are truly blessed,” adds Bandit Lites chair Michael T. Strickland. “At
UK - The Northern School of Art is one step closer to realising its vision of establishing a major film and TV production facility in the North East.
A planning application has been submitted for The Northern Studios - a Hartlepool-based, 30,000sq.ft film and TV studio and production facility designed in partnership with Logic Architecture.
The new development would provide the North East with its first dedicated production facility capable of housing large-scale film and TV production. It will support specialist technical and skills training for undergraduates on a range of creative degree programmes available at The Northern School of Art, but will also be available for commercial studio use, allowing business users to take advantage of the specialised technical equipment for stage, screen and events production.
Pat Chapman, vice-principal (employability and external relations) at The Northern School of Art, comments: “As the specialist provider of education and training for the creative industries in the region, we are delighted to have taken this important next step in bringing about a new chapter of ambition and regeneration for the North East. The Northern School of Art has a clear role in championing the growing creative sector in the region and taking positive steps to help it grow in value and employment.
“The Northern School of Art is a long-established provider of degree programmes in the screen and stage industries, if approved, the development of the new studios will provide much-needed commercial studio space to accommodate
Hall Of Fame - Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, The Cure, Def Leppard and Radiohead are among the acts announced as the latest members of The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. The artists will be officially inducted next year alongside Roxy Music and The Zombies as the official class of 2019. It means Jackson joins brother Michael among the alumni, while Stevie Nicks enters for the second time as a solo artist, having previously been inducted as a member of Fleetwood Mac.
Creative Capital - The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced the capital’s first six creative enterprise zones, which will be awarded £11m in funding to support artists and businesses. Spread across seven boroughs, the aim of the zones is to support artists to establish themselves in local areas and to develop skills and job opportunities for local people.
The six zones to be announced include Brixton in Lambeth, Croydon – which aims to become a “music city” nurturing young people to enter the music industry - and the borough of Lewisham. Hackney Wick and Fish Island, in the boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets, will be another zone, alongside areas in the boroughs of Hounslow and Haringey. The creative enterprise zones aim to create more than 3,500 jobs, 1,000 education opportunities and 40,000 sq metres of affordable workspace.
Free Entry - The English National Opera (ENO) has announced it will give free tickets to under-18s for its Spring 2019 season. Balcony tickets will be made available on Saturdays as a way of engaging young people in opera.
Canada - Solotech has named Daniel Méjean as vice-president (strategic sourcing) effective 14 January 2019.
In this new position under the direction of Nicolas Lavoie, chief financial officer, Méjean will actively contribute to the performance of the rapidly growing sourcing department as a key player in strategic planning, as well as long and short-term alliance building with suppliers and partner.
Méjean has over 20 years of experience in strategic sourcing management and direction in large-scale companies.
UK - The festive season is well underway and Triple E has gone underwater to provide a magical window display in the centre of the West End.
You wouldn’t usually associate Shaftesbury Avenue with a yacht-chandler, but Arthur Beale has been situated here for over 400 years. Traditionally known for manufacturing ropes for ships, climbers and explorers the company often takes advantage of their central London location to supply the local West End theatres with specialist rigging.
Under the leadership of Alasdair Flint, a theatrical chandler who also has a passion for sailing, the company has revived itself in recent years to provide rigging and ropes to the theatre sector alongside their more traditional sailing business. And each Christmas the company draws on this theatrical side and puts on a window display to rival any other shop in Bloomsbury or the West End!
Triple E has worked in collaboration with Alasdair Flint to provide a magical underwater themed display based around 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. As a leading provider of drape and scenery tracking to the theatre sector, Triple E has frequently been known to provide tracks to support other well-known West End retail emporiums such as Harrods and Selfridges with their ‘wow factor’ window displays.
Triple E was charged with specifying and building a chain track system to allow the aquatic life in the window display to be in continual motion. Chain Track is Triple E’s proprietary tracking system and was perfect for the very precise and continuous movement of scenic element
Rising Stars - Flamenco singer Rosalía, R&B star Ella Mai and pop artist King Princess are among the rising stars who have made it onto the BBC's Sound of 2019 longlist. Now in its 17th year, the list showcases 2019's hottest new artists. Past winners include Adele, Sam Smith, Years & Years and Sigrid. This year's selection focuses on solo acts, with only one band in the top 10. It was voted for by 136 critics, broadcasters and DJs, including former nominees Ellie Goulding and Stormzy.
Grammy Awards - Kendrick Lamar and Drake lead the nominations for next year's Grammy Awards, with seven nods each. Cardi B, Lady Gaga, HER, Maren Morris, Childish Gambino, producer Sounwave and engineer Mike Bozzi all have five nominations each.
While male acts dominated the nominations in the main categories last year, five of this year's best album nominees are women, with Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, HER, Janelle Monae and Kacey Musgraves competing against Drake, Post Malone and the Black Panther soundtrack.
In the best new artist category, six of the eight nominees are also women, with British stars Dua Lipa and Jorja Smith nominated alongside HER, Chloe x Halle, Margo Price and Bebe Rexha, as well as Luke Combs and rock band Greta Van Fleet.
Test Site - Controversial plans to redevelop the derelict Dudley Hippodrome into a test site for driverless cars have been approved by the local council. The news comes despite the Theatres Trust and campaigners calling for the theatre to be restored and reopened for an arts use. The trust call
UK - Design and technical theatre consultancy Theatreplan has been chosen to work alongside architects Bennetts Associates on the major redevelopment of the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh.
The designs from Bennetts Associates for the redeveloped theatre have been recently unveiled and show a design that respects the original building but reimagines it for the 21st century. The scheme will see an overhaul of the theatre’s interior and exterior and will cost in the region of £20m.
Mathew Smethurst-Evans, executive director UK for Theatreplan, comments: “Theatreplan is thrilled to be part of the team rejuvenating this historic theatre and modernising its facilities to meet the needs of the 21st century.”
Duncan Hendry, chief executive of Capital Theatres, adds: “The King’s Theatre holds a special place in the hearts of many people from Edinburgh and further afield. The King’s really is ‘Everyone’s Theatre’ and throughout this exciting redevelopment project we hope people will help us secure the future of their theatre.”