The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 15 October 2019

For The Record - Adele's 21 is the UK's best-selling album of the 21st Century, selling more than five million copies since 2011. The record, which features the hits Rolling In The Deep and Someone Like You, is more than a million copies ahead of the second biggest-seller, Amy Winehouse's Back To Black. Adele also takes third place in the chart, with her most recent record, 25.
The century's 40 biggest albums were revealed on Radio 2's Pick of the Pops, as part of National Album Day. Ed Sheeran appears in the top five twice too, while other artists in the top 20 include Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Lady Gaga and Scissor Sisters.
Leading Role - Sebastian Cater has been appointed head of UK Theatre, replacing Cassie Chadderton. Cater will lead the organisation and also hold the role of workforce development, joining the senior management team at UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre. Chadderton announced her departure earlier this year to join World Book Day as its first chief executive.
Cater’s previous roles have included director of marketing and sales at Sadler’s Wells, and head of marketing at media agency Target Live. He also worked at SOLT early in his career. He joins UK Theatre from mid-January, and said: “I am thrilled to be joining UK Theatre, an organisation that champions many issues I feel passionately about including leadership, diversity, advocacy, digital and workforce development.
“Although we are living in challenging times and there is much to be done, I am confident that by working together we can continue to strengthen and grow the sector for the future.”
Independent Operator - Cardiff’s New Theatre is to be taken over by an independent operator as part of a bid to save the council money. Further details about the operator will be announced once the contract is finalised. Seven proposals were considered for the operation of the 1,144 capacity theatre. The winning bid was for a 25-year lease of the venue, with the council set to receive rent of £6.75m over this period. The council will not be required to pay any subsidy to the new operator. Currently, the council pays about £500,000 a year towards the operation of the theatre.
Other terms of the bid included a commitment to invest £2.7m in the building over the term of the lease, including a refresh of the front-of-house areas and a commitment to grow the programme from 335 productions in the first year to 359 by year three. As part of the deal, existing staff will be retained.
Manchester Underground - Arches below Manchester Central railway are to be developed into a 150-seat theatre and community space. The venue will become the new home for 53two, a charity that champions new writers and accessible theatre spaces, which has had its planning application validated by the local council.
Artistic director Simon Naylor said: “We are beyond excited at taking this massive step towards our goal. Our theatre friends from the old venue provided us with a Kickstarter of £11,000 without which we would have been unable to even take the first steps.” 53two aims to open the new venue in May 2020, with a run of six short plays by various TV script writers, known collectively as JB shorts, alongside a monologue slam event.
(Jim Evans)
15 October 2019

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