UK - To mark the centenary of Stephen Joseph’s birth and the 60th anniversary of the founding of ABTT, the ABTT Stephen Joseph Committee has announced an award to commemorate the life and work of the influential theatre practitioner and pioneer of theatre in-the-round.
A statement from the ABTT says: “Stephen Joseph was one of the most influential theatre practitioners of the last century. He was one of the founders of the ABTT and the Society of Theatre Consultants, now the Institute of Theatre Consultants. He promoted new writing, architectural standards and technical excellence, and was an inspiring university teacher. His pioneering work has given rise to the use of myriad forms of theatre and open staging in current practice. At the heart of his philosophy was the close and fundamental relationship between performer and audience. Above all, he established theatre-in-the-round as a legitimate theatrical form in the UK.
This award honours Stephen’s wide-ranging legacy which continues to influence many aspects of theatre practice. The first ABTT Stephen Joseph Award will be presented in June 2021.”
ABTT Stephen Joseph Award specifications:
There are three categories from which one recipient of the award will be chosen. For the sake of clarity, there will be just one award in 2021 presented to the most deserving nomination drawn from any one of the following categories:
1. A living individual whose work or body of work has created an exemplary and adventurous relationship between performance and audience.
UK - The Stagehand COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund, launched in September 2020, achieved its target of raising £1m by the end of 2020 and now looks to building on the £1.17m raised in order to continue supporting live events industry workers experiencing hardship in 2021.
As a result, a third round of grant applications will be open until 12pm on 12 February. The grants of £500 help crew facing financial crisis and experiencing food poverty.
Donations to the COVID-19 Crew Relief Fund have been received from PPL, BPI / BRIT Awards, Universal Music Group, Sony Music, The Co-Op, SJM Concerts, artists, artist managers and many individuals including some by anonymous donors.
Prints for Music, the photography sale created by Ed Robinson who, together with 39 other photographers, donated images depicting musical heroes throughout the ages. The campaign saw significant funds go towards the target. Grass roots fundraising activity was also very important.
A second #ILoveLive Crowdfunder Prize Draw Campaign will launch on 17 February and is already attracting some significant artists. Acts including The 1975, Foo Fighters and Jack Garratt will donate prizes. The #ILoveLive campaign was spearheaded by artist manager and promoter David Stopps with Andy Lenthall and Mike Lowe at Stagehand.
Mike Lowe, the chair of Stagehand’s Board of Trustees, comments: “We know that when live shows can take place again in financially viable ways, the industry will be extremely busy. Artists, festivals and venues just want to get back to work and the public are
Pay Freeze - Backstage theatre workers across the UK will have their pay frozen until April next year, under temporary contract changes aimed at helping the industry reopen following the pandemic. UK Theatre and BECTU have concluded a temporary COVID-19 Variation Agreement, which came into effect on 18 January and replaces the current UK Theatre/BECTU agreement until 2022.
Although BECTU members voted in favour of the amendments, the union said they were not happy with the changes. The changes will not impact separately negotiated house agreements with individual venues, but local negotiations can take place to vary house agreements in line with the temporary COVID-19 Variation Agreement.
The UK Theatre/BECTU agreement covers pay and working conditions for offstage roles in theatres across the UK in areas including box office, administration, technical, front of house, stage door, catering staff, cleaners, wigs and wardrobe.
Air Quality - London’s Arcola Theatre is working with scientists from Imperial College London to explore how the air quality in arts venues affects the spread of viruses. According to the theatre, the project will explore “how increased airflow can be used by venues and performance spaces to reduce viral transmission”, to increase the safety of theatregoers. As part of the project, the Arcola will work with scientists to explore ways it can increase airflow within its own indoor spaces and use the findings to facilitate conversations about airflow in other venues.
Executive director Ben Todd said: “Since the
UK - Guildhall School of Music & Drama has announced 15 new online courses that will run from April – July 2021. The school has transferred its most popular short courses online and created a range of new ones, working with tutors to ensure that they are “just as enriching and memorable as they would be within the building”.
The courses cover music, drama, music production for young women and girls, sound design for theatre, video mapping and an introduction to game audio. Participants will have the opportunity to learn with Guildhall School staff members, as well as guest tutors, in a range of workshops all held on Zoom.
In addition to these courses, Guildhall School is hoping to run several in-person Summer Schools from July - August. For a full list of in-person courses and to register your interest, you can go to the website here. Guildhall School hopes to be able to confirm whether these will go ahead at the beginning of April 2021. The courses would run at the School in London from 12 July to 7 August.
Online courses that may be of particular interest to LSi readers include:
An Introduction to Video Projection Mapping: Online - “This one-week course will give participants a unique opportunity to learn and develop the necessary creative and technical skills to prepare and project video onto a 3D structure, using industry standard video projection software Resolume Arena 7. Participants will b
UK - If you’ve ever fancied owning an industry-relevant personalised number plate, now’s your chance! The plate, which reads A1 DMX is currently owned by a prominent lighting director, who would prefer to remain anonymous. It has been kindly donated to LSi to be auctioned in order to raise funds for the #WeMakeEvents campaign.
The LD says: “Some of us working in TV and film studios are fortunate enough to have kept some of our work since the COVID pandemic closed the majority of our industry last March. So many of our friends and colleagues, particularly in music, events and theatre, haven’t had any work at all during that time and have had little or no support from the government.”
“I would like to try to help out in a small way. I know many reading this in LSi will have homes and offices cluttered with old equipment and industry memorabilia. Some of this might be quite valuable, so I’d ask everyone to consider helping out by raising funds for #WeMakeEvents in a similar way, if they feel they can.”
He continues: “In my case, I have the UK vehicle registration ‘A1 DMX’ which, for a number of reasons, I cannot put on my current car. I purchased the plate from the DVLA in the early ‘90s, largely to put a smile on the faces of friends and colleagues around me. As a young, ambitious board op in the ‘90s, its first car was a Peugeot 205 GTi!”
“As the years have gone by, it has transferred several times onto bigger and better cars. It has definitely achieved my ambition to raise a smile, and has no doubt caused
No Coachella - Another major music festival, Coachella, has been cancelled due to the pandemic. The annual event in the southern Californian desert was scheduled over two weekends in April but the region's public health officer Dr Cameron Kaiser says it will not go ahead.
The Stagecoach country music festival, on the same site as Coachella but later in April, has also been cancelled, Dr Kaiser said, blaming the dire COVID-19 situation in the state. He said in a public health order: "If COVID-19 were detected at these festivals, the scope and number of attendees and the nature of the venue would make it infeasible, if not impossible, to track those who may be placed at risk."
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival takes place in the Indio desert near Palm Springs and attracted about 250,000 attendees in 2019, while Stagecoach draws more than 70,000 country music fans. On Friday, health officials in California announced the state had surpassed 40,000 coronavirus-related deaths.
Musical Moves - Andrew Lloyd Webber has indicted that plans to open his new musical Cinderella in the spring may have to be postponed, saying he is now unable to confirm when the show will open. His comments, made to BBC Radio 2, appear to contradict the bullish stance he took at the very beginning of this year, when he said he was holding firmly to plans to have its official opening in May, with previews beginning at the end of April.
At the time he did also warn that his dates may be out by “weeks”, because of the ongoing and changing situ
Festival Blues - This year's Glastonbury music festival has been cancelled due to coronavirus, organisers have confirmed. Michael and Emily Eavis announced the news on the festival's official Twitter page writing: “With great regret, we must announce that this year's Glastonbury Festival will not take place.”
It's the second year running that Glastonbury will not go ahead, after last year's 50th anniversary celebration was cancelled due to COVID-19. In a full statement on their website, the father and daughter team explained that in spite of “efforts to move Heaven & Earth”, the event would not be happening in 2021, adding that “this will be another enforced fallow year for us”.
“It has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the Festival happen this year. We are so sorry to let you all down. As with last year, we would like to offer all those who secured a ticket in October 2019 the opportunity to roll their £50 deposit over to next year and guarantee the chance to buy a ticket for Glastonbury 2022.
“"We are very appreciative of the faith and trust placed in us by those of you with deposits, and we are very confident we can deliver something really special for us all in 2022! "We thank you for your incredible continued support and let's look forward to better times ahead.”
Training Challenge - Challenges facing the performing arts training sector and wider creative education issues are set to be examined in a dedicated parliamentary group, launched this month. The new all-party parliamentary group me
Quarantine Regulations - Performing arts professionals are no longer entitled to a quarantine exemption when arriving in the UK, following a tightening of travel restrictions. As of now, anyone working in the performing arts that enters the UK, including performers, creatives and technical staff, must self-isolate for 10 days, according to regulations confirmed by the government.
Performing arts is one of eight sectors that has been removed from the list of professions that qualify for quarantine exemptions, alongside television and film production workers, journalists and advertising professionals. The government has given no indication of the duration of this change.
People working in the performing arts were added to the list of exemptions for England in December. The exemption covered individuals travelling for a paid work engagement in the UK, with both international and British citizens eligible. However, with the UK now in further lockdown measures, the Department for Transport has reduced the number of exemptions and promised to ramp up enforcement checks.
Professions that have remained on the exemption list include elite sportspeople and healthcare professionals, as well as people working for the BBC’s broadcasting transmission network.
Work Permits - The Musicians’ Union has written to prime minister Boris Johnson, urging him to negotiate a solution to European touring arrangements for performers as soon as possible, as the government and the EU continue to blame each other for the failure to reach an agreement.
Pistol Package - Trainspotting director Danny Boyle is to make a six-part TV series about 1970s punk icons the Sex Pistols. Based on guitarist Steve Jones's memoir, it will star Anson Boon as John Lydon and Louis Partridge (Enola Holmes) as Sid Vicious. Filming is due to start in March for US TV network FX. No UK broadcaster has been announced yet.
"Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent," said Boyle, announcing his new project. "This is the moment that British society and culture changed forever. It is the detonation point for British street culture, where ordinary young people had the stage and vented their fury and their fashion - and everyone had to watch and listen.”
Air Conditioning - London’s 100 Club is to pioneer trials of new air-conditioning technology that claims to significantly reduce the risk of the transmission of COVID-19 and other diseases inside venues. The creator of the technology, Pathogen Reduction Systems (PRS), hopes it can be used alongside the vaccine and other safety measures to help entertainment venues, offices and gyms reopen sooner.
PRS has created a new handling system which rapidly circulates air through a box containing the light, which is placed into an air-conditioning unit, meaning air can be purified without people coming into contact with the UVC light. Founding chairman of PRS, Ian Sinclair, says that the technology can make any building "significantly safer" by reducing
USA - ClearOne, a global provider of audio and visual communications solutions has launched two new webcams with the intention of “making true-to-life video collaboration possible for everyone”.
For users who want to upgrade from the basic camera included in their laptop or PC, ClearOne has introduced its most affordable webcam to-date, UNITE 10. The small, powerful webcam supports up to 1080p video quality and offers autofocus. It can capture five-megapixel images with a field of view up to 87-degrees. UNITE 10 attaches to any PC or laptop with a simple mounting bracket, and a 1.5m USB-A cable ensures simple connection to most modern computers. UNITE 10 is also available to dealers and distributors in 20 packs for commercial sale.
Meanwhile, the new UNITE 50 4K AF webcam introduces ClearOne’s new Auto-Framing technology to maximize screen use through intelligent image algorithms and ePTZ automation (electronic pan, tilt and zoom). “With 4K video quality at 30Hz, auto-focus capability, 4x digital zoom, more than 8 megapixels of total resolution and an ultra-wide 110-degree field of view, the UNITE 50 4K AF ePTZ is equally capable of delivering incredible image quality from a home office as it is at capturing all participants in an office boardroom,” the company says.
The camera can be controlled through an IR remote, further simplifying use and enabling real-time control of pan, tilt and zoom to provide greater control when capturing multi-person meeting environments. A standard damping mount ensures fast, easy installation, while an incl
Europe - Global event production company PSAV has announced that it will begin to operate under the Encore name as part of a planned move to align its portfolio of companies, including Hawthorn and AVC Live, under a master brand.
Announced in March 2020, the move “solidifies the company’s desire to unify its operations and deliver industry leadership through end-to-end creative, production and technology services to its meeting planner customers and hotel partners, taking them far beyond traditional AV services”.
“This is an exciting day for our family of companies,” said Ben Erwin, president and CEO. “In a world changed by the pandemic, the Encore brand and new icon signal a forward focus. It puts our customers at the centre as we offer new platforms and tools to enable them to continue to meet and seamlessly connect in person and virtual audiences. We have come together to provide leadership to our industry by defining standards on how to safely meet in person and have demonstrated our ability to quickly adapt solutions to help reimagine how transformative hybrid and virtual events can take place all over the world. Today, we continue those efforts under a new brand.”
Powered by a new tagline, ‘Events that Transform’, the brand identity supports the knowledge that events of all types have the power to connect and inspire, and the ability to create immersive, collaborative experiences to deliver real results, says the company. Augmenting its already strong portfolio of event production services, the new hybrid solutions and virtua
UK - 2021 sees the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) celebrate the diamond jubilee of its foundation. The Association will be marking this milestone with a year of online activities, and a resumption of the popular face to face in-person events when restrictions allow. It will also take the opportunity to dip into the rich depths of the ABTT Archive in order to share videos and interviews. Plus there will be more seminars, new awards, and events throughout the year.
“It is a privilege to be part of the ABTT in its 60th year and to participate in its diamond jubilee,” says Robin Townley, CEO of the ABTT. “It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the role it has played throughout its existence in supporting those engaged in the design and construction of places of entertainment as well as those delivering technical and production support to live performance.
“It is a significant milestone and must be seen as a tribute to the Association’s membership, volunteers, trustees, supporters, and officers, all of whom have served the ABTT, and consequently their industry, so willingly and well over the last 60 years. It is an institution which with its experience and resilience is fundamental to sustaining the technical and production disciplines within live performance. By so doing it will enable them to continue with confidence despite the huge challenges presented by the current pandemic.”
The ABTT continues to provide technical advice, consultations, training, publications, and vital resources while providing members with net
UK - PLASA is hosting two free webinars this week on how to apply for the second round of grants from the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).
Taking place on Wednesday 13 January from 10am-12pm and Friday 15 January from 2pm-4pm, these webinars will be hosted by Caroline Taylor, an independent expert with a proven track record in successfully applying for £15m in Arts Council England funding, including the first round of the CRF and the ACE Emergency Fund.
During each webinar you will explore the main application questions in detail which will help you submit a strong application. You will also learn about Grantium, the new Arts Council application portal which you are encouraged to register for prior to the webinar. Additionally, each webinar will have a dedicated Q&A section to answer any specific questions you may have regarding the application process. Following the webinars, Caroline is available to review your application for a fixed fee.
PLASA is encouraging all its England-based members to attend to learn more about eligibility. These include industry manufacturers, production companies and venues, as well as freelancers who operate as a limited company and single director companies.
Reserve your free place now >> https://plasa-culture-recovery-fund.eventbrite.co.uk
USA - Behind the Scenes has announced a generous year-end donation from MA Lighting International which has been a supporter of the charity for many years, through its partnership with the Lightpower Collection. MA Lighting International is responsible for worldwide sales and marketing of grandMA control systems.
MA Lighting international managing director, Stephan Saremba, commented, “In times like these, when donations from companies have declined sharply due to necessity, MA Lighting would like to set an example with direct financial support and once again emphasise the importance of these foundations.”
The Lightpower Collection is a long-time major supporter of Behind the Scenes. Lightpower, founded in 1978 in Germany as a lighting rental company, has grown to be an internationally established distributor for stage and studio lighting equipment. The Lightpower Collection was born out of a company culture that has grown over several years with a passion for collecting Rock’n’Roll art. The collection features photography and album cover artwork from many of the world’s greatest photographers and designers.
Neal Preston’s Rock’n’Roll photography represents the core of this collection and comprises over 70 large-format original fine art prints. Preston’s archive is one of the most extensive in the world. His photographs continue to be shown worldwide.
Neal’s newest, much anticipated book Queen: The Neal Preston Photographs is available for sale at the BTS Boutique (behindthescenescharity.org/queen) along with his pre
World - As the LSi and PLASA offices close for the festive break, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued readership throughout 2020. It’s certainly been a challenging one for our industry, but there have been some incredible moments of solidarity and triumph over adversity too, many of which we’ve had the privilege of detailing for you both here at LSi Online and in the magazine.
Our daily online news service will resume on Wednesday 6 January 2021. Until then, if you fancy a read, you can access LSi’s full 35-year back catalogue free online here.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays – we wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!
The LSi team
UK - West End theatres must once again close their doors as London moves into the highest tier of COVID-19 restrictions from midnight tonight (Tuesday 15/12). Many shows – including Pantoland at the Palladium, Six and Les Miserables: The Staged Concert – had only just opened and were following strict COVID-safe measures.
The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) said the move would cause “catastrophic financial difficulties" for venues, producers and thousands of workers.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber issued a statement saying: “I feel devastated for all those in theatre who have tried so hard to provide entertainment for the Christmas season. Theatres have worked tirelessly to make themselves as COVID-safe as possible. It does seem arbitrary and unfair that people can jostle uncontrolled in crowded shops yet orderly socially-distanced theatre-going is banned. However, I reluctantly have to agree with the government’s decision to put London in Tier 3. Saving lives, protecting the NHS and getting this virus under control has now got to be the top priority.”
He added: “I do hope that even a crumb of the £1.57bn made available for the arts could be given to those who have spent an enormous amount of time and money to mount productions for this season and to support the actors, musicians and stage crews who will yet again be put out of a job.”
Producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh, whose shows include Les Miserables, said the government's "sudden volt[e] face" was "devastating for both the theatre and the economy". He added: "
Freelance Support - Freelancers in financial need because of tighter restrictions around the UK are being offered support through the Theatre Artists Fund, which has had a boost from Arts Council England. ACE, supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has previously contributed £1m to the fund, and has now put in additional money, although the amount has not been disclosed.
The fund is administered by the Society of London Theatre’s sister charity Theatre Development Trust and will be looking to support freelancers who were not eligible to apply for grants in the recent funding round, but are now in financial need due to working in a Tier 3 area. SOLT said the Theatre Artists Fund would be contacting producers and theatres that have had to cancel or postpone productions in Tier 3 areas to seek details of affected individuals. Grants of £1,000 to those eligible will be awarded in January.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks - A stage version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks will come to the UK next year, produced by Michael Harrison. A musical adaptation of the 1971 Disney film will premiere at Newcastle Theatre Royal in August 2021, before embarking on a UK tour that will include a five-week Christmas season at Leeds Grand Theatre. It is being brought to the stage by theatre-makers Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison, who co-run the theatre company Vox Motus. Harrison also created the illusions for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and will design the set and illusions for Bedknobs and Broomsticks. It will be chore
Europe - HOF has announced Scandec as its new distributor for Norway. Scandec is an established distributor for audiovisual products and permanent installations of pro audio and video.
Founded in 1984, Scandec has a large dealer network all over Norway and offers a strong portfolio of brands, products and system solutions. The company will distribute the HOF brands XOOP Lighting, Hof Truss, CJS and Excellent Line, and will partner with HOF for special aluminium constructions for permanent installations.
UK - Production Park has secured a £12million Government loan which it plans to use to expand and develop its Wakefield campus over the next decade.
Production Park is one of the latest 11 major arts and heritage organisations across the UK to have received loan offers from the £1billion Cultural Recovery Fund, a combination of grant and loan cash from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), targeted to support a culture sector that has been devastated by the effects of COVID-19.
Other organisations to have benefitted from the £165m in repayable finance – and a further £58m in capital funding for ongoing construction and maintenance projects in the sector – announced by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden include the Royal Albert Hall, National Theatre, English National Opera, Alexandra Palace and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
“The Cultural Recovery Fund is very much a lifeline for many in the culture sector and has enabled them simply to survive in the short-term, but we have taken a much longer-term view by securing a loan that we will use to grow our business, create jobs and opportunities, and generate revenue in the sector for years to come,” said Lee Brooks, CEO of Production Park.
The £12m loan will drive investment by facilitating ambitious growth plans at Production Park. As well as providing rehearsal space for some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, including Coldplay, Little Mix and Peter Kay, the South Kirby site is home to more than more than 20 live events and creative businesse
USA - Magmatic atmospheric effects has introduced Rocket, a line of powerful CO2 cryogenic simulation effects that produce ‘dense white clouds of fog for visually stunning atmospherics. Capable of generating a heavy blast of fog that engulfs an area in just a few seconds yet dissipates instantly, each effect is arrayed with high-output RGBA LEDs.
Rocket is making it easier for designers and production houses to implement high-impact cryogenic-type effects into projects of all types - tours, special events, clubs, theme parks and more, says the company. The advantages over traditional liquid CO2 or liquid nitrogen cryogenic effects are many. With the Rocket series there are no cumbersome, high-pressure liquid CO2 or liquid nitrogen cylinders to deal with, making for a safer, less expensive and faster setup that requires no local authority approvals.
Three Rocket series effects are available – Javelin, Sidewinder and Tomahawk – all wrapped in a durable, tour-ready aluminum housing designed to withstand travel and repeated use.
Javelin is a high-velocity CO2 simulator fog machine in a compact and lightweight mobile design. It features 34 x 2-watt RGBA LEDs for bursts of dynamic coloured effect and can rotate 90-degrees for horizontal or vertical bursts of fog. Max throw distance is 20-ft with a 50,000 cu.ft per minute output and max continuous output of 10 seconds at full. Fluid capacity is 2.5 litres. Its compact size and easy mobility means Javelin is easy to position virtually anywhere.
Sidewinder features 22 x 2-watt RGBA LEDs for b
USA - Chauvet Professional has announced it is extending its ReSet Fund programme through 31 December during 'the season of giving' to help individuals in the live event industry impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After Chauvet kicked off the programme, which helps fund grants through Behind the Scenes (BTS), with a $25,000 donation to BTS in October, the brand has been offering a matching donation for all merchandise sold on its website. With hundreds of orders in, Chauvet is committed to extending support during the holiday season.
“We are in the season of giving and during a year when everyone has given so much,” said Albert Chauvet, CEO of Chauvet. “We see the ReSet Fund as a way to demonstrate the critical importance of supporting our community during good times and challenging times like now. As we emerge from the pandemic, we believe programmes like this will help make the industry even stronger.”
Fundraising merchandise is available through Chauvet Professional’s website (www.resetfund.store). More information on BTS resources can be found at btshelp.org. The final donation will be made in December.
For those who wish to support the ReSet Fund without monetary contribution, Chauvet Professional is sharing messages of solidarity and support via its social media platforms.
“This is not just about charitable contributions,” Chauvet said. “This is also about the message that together we will overcome these trying times to get to an even be
On Stage - Many West End theatres have started reopening their doors for the first time since March. Among those reopening their doors for the first time since closing eight months ago are the Garrick Theatre, the Lyric Theatre and the Sondheim Theatre, which is home to the Les Mis concert. The development comes as Andrew Lloyd Webber revealed plans to open six of his West End theatres by the summer of 2021, in a move that is being seen as a major boost for the sector.
Nimax venues staged 12 performances over the weekend, including four performances of Six at the Lyric. Nimax chief Nica Burns had previously indicated her intention to begin a phased reopening of her six theatres earlier this year, and had already brought Adam Kay’s This Is Going to Hurt to the Apollo, which opened in October shortly before the second lockdown in November. “It was a very emotional, very exciting weekend,” Burns said.
RAH Celebrates - Chic's Nile Rodgers will compose a ‘pop anthem’ to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Royal Albert Hall. The musician joins an all-star line-up, including Eric Clapton, Patti Smith and Matthew Bourne, who will honour the venue next year. A birthday concert on 29 March will see the unveiling of a new work by composer David Arnold.
The celebration comes at one of the most precarious times in the venue's history, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The independent venue in Kensington, London, reported a loss of £18m, plus £6.5m in refunded ticket sales, earlier this year. Chief executive Craig Hassall t
Doorstepping - Actors Maria Friedman and Adrian Der Gregorian have launched a new production company to take the West End to the nation’s doorsteps. Backed by theatre figures including Cameron Mackintosh, Nica Burns and Sonia Friedman, well as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, Doorstep Productions will stage personalised performances from hit shows, in full costume, on streets, driveways and in gardens across the UK.
It is promising a "song-and-dance spectacle" featuring up to six performers, with audiences able to choose songs and scenes from shows including Les Misérables, Mary Poppins, The Phantom of the Opera and Dreamgirls. The company will also be offering a Dickensian carol singing experience over the festive period.
Alongside Der Gregorian, who is her husband, Friedman has assembled a group of West End actors, singers, musicians and dancers, who will travel across the country to stage the socially distanced shows. "Everything seems to be deliverable these days, so why not the West End?" she said. Prices for the performances will be bespoke, but a fully costumed performer within London will cost around £250. With each booking, Doorstep Productions will make a donation to theatre charities.
National Streams - The National Theatre has launched a streaming service for its archive of filmed plays, which feature stars like Dame Helen Mirren and Olivia Colman. National Theatre at Home will make plays available for either a one-off payment or a subscription. They include Dame Helen's
UK - Apparel and tech brand STNDBY has launched its flagship range of sustainable clothes and accessories, designed for crew and creatives.
STNDBY (www.STNDBYworld.com) was conceived by lighting and production designer Tom Campbell and host, producer and entrepreneur James Murden to offer clothing and accessories that are ‘as functional as they are fashionable’. With partnerships in place with companies such as Avolites and Dirty Rigger and offering customisation, gifting options and tour swag, STNDBY’s products are designed ‘to work and built to last’.
“We’ve spent almost two years researching the problems crew face finding work gear and developing these products to solve those problems,” said Campbell. "We’re so proud of the incredible feedback we’ve had throughout our testing phase and can’t wait to start seeing STNDBY out in the world.”
STNDBY’s flagship range includes T-shirts, rigging gloves, power banks and digital storage solutions, as well as their signature launch product, the Leitch Security Backpack. Named after the late lighting designer Bryan Leitch, this travel-friendly bag embodies the STNDBY philosophy by packing in hidden compartments, charging ports, water resistance and even a stab-proof protective layer.
“With STNDBY we set out to create clothes and accessories that are fit-for-purpose but still look good in the bar after the show,” says Murden. "In our industry, 'stand-by' means “get ready for action”, so it was the perfect name for us - a bran