On Broadway - The world's longest-running play, The Mousetrap, which marked its 70th anniversary last week, is to open on Broadway for the first time next year. Agatha Christie's whodunit premiered on 25 November 1952 in Nottingham's Theatre Royal. She initially thought it might run for only eight months. But it has since become a West End fixture, being performed almost 29,000 times and seen by 10m people. The show has been staged in the US before, but never on Broadway.
The Broadway transfer comes after the profile of the play received a boost when it featured in the recent murder mystery film See How They Run. The movie is set in 1953 against the backdrop of the show's 100th performance, with a starry cast including Saoirse Ronan, Ruth Wilson, Adrien Brody, David Oyelowo and Sam Rockwell.
West End Pay - Producers are paying West End performers and stage managers at or just above union minimums – with Equity members taking home on average “little above” £700 a week gross, the union has claimed. This is the finding of a pay audit that has been carried out by the union’s West End deputies over the summer, which received more than 400 responses. The audit comes as the union prepares to submit claims for both subsided and commercial agreements in the West End, alongside claims for revisions to agreements with the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, for directors, designers and choreographers.
According to the union, the results of its pay audit in the West End can "evidence something crucial about rates of pay in the West End that most members have always known" – producers are engaging workers "at or just above union minimums". This means that average West End members are taking home little above £700 a week gross. "We can finally lay to rest the myth that our members are working for thousands and thousands of pounds a week, except for in diminishingly rare instances," the union said.
Going Underground - Vault Festival has announced a new 300-capacity purpose-built venue for 2023, as it reveals a programme of more than 500 shows. The 2023 event will run in venues across Waterloo in London from 24 January to 19 March. New to the festival will be a venue called the Flair Ground, which will be located inside the Vaults and is yet to be built. It will house cabaret, drag, burlesque, circus and performance art.
Vault Festival director and co-founder Andy George said: "It’s been a tumultuous few years for us and our artists. There have been many times when the story of Vault Festival could have ended. But through those challenging moments we kept believing in the idea; that Vault Festival can affect positive change in our world through joy and creativity."
In The Wilderness - The Chemical Brothers, Christine and The Queens and Fatboy Slim will headline next year's Wilderness Festival. The 10,000-capacity event will take place from 3-6 August at Cornbury Park, near Charlbury, Oxfordshire. Organisers said the festival was "a unique celebration of wilderness itself" at the "jaw-dropping nature reserve". Confidence Man, Pip Millett and Sugababes are also due to perform.
On The Beach - Boardmasters music and surfing festival has unveiled the first wave of more than 30 acts including two headline performers. Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and Florence + The Machine will headline the festival in Newquay, Cornwall, on 9-13 August 2023. Other acts announced include Little Simz, Four Tet and Example. The festival, which usually attracts about 50,000 people, is held at Watergate Bay and Fistral beach.
Farewell - Fame and Flashdance singer Irene Cara has died at the age of 63. The American singer and actress was best known for her title track in the 1980 film Fame, as well as co-writing and singing the hit Flashdance... What a Feeling, for which she won an Oscar and a Grammy. She later starred in films opposite Clint Eastwood and Tatum O'Neal. Cara's publicist, who announced her death, said she died at home in Florida but the cause is "currently unknown". RIP.
(Jim Evans)
29 November 2022

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