The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 16 April 2019
Respect - The Queen of Soul is now a Pulitzer Prize winner. Aretha Franklin has been awarded a special citation honouring "her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades". She becomes the 12th musician, and first female performer, to be given the citation - joining the likes of Bob Dylan, Scott Joplin and John Coltrane.
Franklin died last August, aged 76. During her career, the singer won 18 Grammys, had 17 top 10 US chart hits and became the first woman admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone magazine rated her as the greatest singer of all time, thanks to songs like Respect, Chain Of Fools and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.
Record Breaker - Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody - already the highest-grossing music biopic of all-time - surpassed $900m (£686m) in worldwide ticket sales on Sunday. The Oscar-winning film has now made $830m (£633m) internationally and $71m (£55m) from domestic UK audiences. Its latest surge follows unexpected levels of popularity among Japanese audiences - grossing $144m (£110m).
The film cost distributor Fox a relatively meagre $50m (£30m) to make. It is now Fox's fourth-biggest title behind Avatar, Titanic, and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.
Festival Investment - Pleasance Theatre Trust has announced 20 productions that will share an investment of over £140,000 as part of its Pleasance Futures development programme. The trust will be supporting a record amount of artists and companies with this year’s investment, which is made up of both in-kind and direct financial support. The theatre has established two new awards for 2019: the Pleasance Associates Programme and the Regional Partnerships Programme, in which Pleasance will team up with theatres across the UK to co-produce shows.
The recipients of the Pleasance Associates Programme include Jordan and Skinner with their production A Brief History of the Fragile Male Ego and David William Bryan’s Fragility of Man. The new award is intended for companies “looking to make a chance in their trajectory”. As part of its Regional Partnerships Programme, the Pleasance is partnering with theatres around the UK to stage six productions by emerging local artists.
Open Air - Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre has announced principal casting for its production of Evita. Samantha Pauly and Ektor Rivera will make their UK debuts in the roles of Eva Peron and Juan Peron. Other casting for the production, which is directed by Jamie Lloyd, includes Trent Saunders and Frances Mayli McCann. Evita will run from 2 August to 21 September.
Cleaning Up - A childhood note written by rapper and singer Drake is on sale for $7,500 (£5,725). In the handwritten message reportedly to his mother, the Canadian star - full name Aubrey Drake Graham - promises to clean his room in return for lifts in the mornings - something which, after shifting more than 20m albums worldwide, he probably doesn't need to worry about anymore.
(Jim Evans)
16 April 2019

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