Solidarity - All remaining performances of the Russian State Ballet of Siberia in the UK have been cancelled following the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Over the weekend, venues began to cancel planned performances by the company, with the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, the Royal and Derngate in Northampton and the New Theatre Peterborough, run by Selladoor, all pulling planned appearances by the company. Ambassador Theatre Group also cancelled performances planned at the Edinburgh Playhouse and the Bristol Hippodrome.
Now, Raymond Gubbay, which was producing the tour, has cancelled all remaining dates. “In view of the current shocking circumstances unfolding in Ukraine, the remaining performances by the Russian State Ballet of Siberia of their 2021/2022 tour will not be taking place,” it said.
English National Opera performed the Ukrainian national anthem before its show on Sunday in support of the people of Ukraine. The opera company’s orchestra performed the anthem at the London Coliseum ahead of its final performance of La Bohème. ENO said it wanted to perform the piece "in solidarity with the people of Ukraine".
Russia will no longer be allowed to participate in this year's Eurovision Song Contest, the European Broadcasting Union has said. The EBU, which produces the event, said Russia's inclusion could bring the competition into disrepute "in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine".
Going Green - Members of Equity have pledged to campaign for arts institutions to cut ties with the fossil fuel industry as part of a new manifesto for a greener theatre sector. The Equity for a Green New Deal manifesto has been created by members of the union’s network of the same name, including actors Will Attenborough and Leila Mimmack. It lays out a series of aims to make the sector more environmentally sustainable.
The five manifesto points are: Empower members throughout the UK to fight for green and accessible workplaces; work with Equity to ensure sustainable practices within their offices and operations; campaign for pension funds and arts institutions to cut ties and sponsorship deals with the fossil fuel industry; push the Arts Council and publicly funded bodies to make funding dependent on genuine sustainability, and engage with other unions to fight for well-paid green jobs in the industry and adjacent sectors.
Theatre Awards - Eddie Redmayne, Lily Allen and James McAvoy were among the award winners at a ceremony to recognise the "brilliance and resilience" of British theatre. Redmayne won the WhatsOnStage Award for best performer in a male-identifying role in a musical, for his part in the West End musical Cabaret. Allen won best female-identifying role in a play for her theatre debut.
The categories have been renamed this year to make them "fully inclusive". The awards were voted for by theatre audiences, and the musical adaptation of Disney's Frozen led the pack overall with seven prizes. However, Back to the Future the Musical beat it to the title of best new musical, while Six the Musical won a separate prize for best West End show by just seven votes.
The 120-seat Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester won best regional production for Rent. Best lighting design and Best sound design went to Tim Lutkin and Gareth Owen respectively for Back to the Future the Musical.
Royal Ballot - A ballot for tickets to a star-studded concert at Buckingham Palace, to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, opened to the public on Thursday. Ten thousand free tickets are now available for the Platinum Party at the Palace on 4 June.
George Ezra is the first performer to be named on the line-up, which the BBC said it would range from "pop stars to rock royalty to opera singers". There will be a full live orchestra, while "stars from film, TV and the stage will also tell the story and celebrate some of the most significant cultural moments from the Queen's reign", a statement said.
(Jim Evans)
1 March 2022

Latest Issue. . .