The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 9 July 2019
Then Play On - Entertainment venues in Scotland will receive protection from noise complaints after the ‘agent of change’ planning principle was enshrined into Scottish law. The principle means if an existing entertainment venue is in place before a new development is built nearby, the developer is responsible for soundproofing against noise.
An amended version of the Planning (Scotland) Bill was passed into law on 21 June, which included the agent of change principle as well as four other references to culture. The other references require culture to be considered in local development plans, town and county planning and the country’s National Planning Framework.
A group representing 50 arts organisations in Scotland called Culture Counts has welcomed the changes. Executive leader of Culture Counts Jennifer Hunter says: “The Planning (Scotland) Bill has recognised the cultural sector and its value to communities in Scotland. We’re pleased that politicians and civil servants understand the wider importance of the protection of culture; due to well-known benefits that span across health and social care, education and the economy.”
Croydon Aspires - Fairfield Halls’ new head has said he wants the relaunched venue to become Croydon’s answer to the Southbank Centre, as it prepares to open its doors for the first time in three years. The Fairfield Halls building has a similar Brutalist style to the Southbank - Europe’s largest arts centre, based in central London - and its venue director Neil Chandler has said he aspires for the south London arts venue to match it in the breadth of work presented, as well as become a “local powerhouse for quality theatre”.
Fairfield Halls will reopen in September following a £30m renovation, and comprises a 809-seat theatre, 1,802-seat concert hall, studios for both resident companies, a new live music venue and a revamped foyer, which will host a free programme of entertainment and activities and be open throughout the day.
The newly announced reopening programme will include stage adaptations of Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch and The Lady Vanishes, the UK premiere of Angela’s Ashes - The Musical and Once, which opens its first tour there in December. Fairfield Halls will also become home to Talawa Theatre Company, and inclusive company Savvy.
Standstill - A major £22m refurbishment of the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre has come to a standstill after the building contractors working on the project ceased trading. Brighton and Hove City Council has taken back and secured the site and is putting together proposals for an insolvency agreement with collapsed contractors R Durtnell and Sons Ltd. A statement claimed the local authority is committed to completing the refurbishment.
The project will see heritage features restored in the grade I-listed Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, as well as an increase to its seating capacity and additional viewing gallery and rehearsal space. Improvements will also be made to the grade II-listed Studio Theatre, including balcony seating, a new bar and a street-level cafe. Since building work began in February 2017, the project has experienced several issues including the accidental uncovering of a Quaker burial site in August 2017.
Transplant - Stevie Wonder told fans at his Hyde Park show in central London that he will undergo a kidney transplant later this year. Speaking to the crowd at his headline slot at the annual BST Hyde Park event, he said he will perform three more shows before taking a break ahead of the procedure planned for September. Wonder told the crowd: “I'm all good, I'm all good, all good, I have a donor and it's all good.”
Charity Shop - Kylie Minogue, Lewis Capaldi and Billie Eilish have donated items they wore at Glastonbury to campaign against throwaway fashion. The singers joined other stars of the festival in giving clothing to Oxfam's online store in the hopes of inspiring fans to buy second-hand clothes. The stars' contributions have helped launch Oxfam's Second-Hand September campaign, in which the public are challenged not to buy any new clothes for one month. Minogue contributed a ‘Kylie’ sun visor she wore during the festival, but not on stage.
(Jim Evans)
9 July 2019

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