Ukraine - Nearly 50 European cultural networks - representing thousands of theatres, arts festivals and venues - have pledged to receive and host Ukrainian artists and to stage performances and events in a show of support for the country. The organisations are urging policymakers across the continent to help them "actively support Ukrainian colleagues" by facilitating international collaboration.
In an open letter to national and European stakeholders, 49 networks and bodies have come together to declare that the "European cultural sector is united" in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to offer solidarity with Ukraine’s people. An adjoining petition has also been signed by more than 600 individuals, including National Theatre director Rufus Norris and Thomas Ostermeier, director of the Schaubühne in Berlin.
"We are extremely concerned about the impact of the invasion on civil society. Over the past decade we have developed deep ties with counterpart organisations in Ukraine - supporting ongoing dialogue and artistic exchange, a thriving democracy and long-term collaboration with future generations through flagship civil society initiatives, such as the EU’s Eastern Partnership," the letter says, declaring that international collaboration "must be supported at all costs".
"Our organisations are ready to receive and host artists, to stage performances, to organise events, to inform and facilitate access to resources and to advocate for a peaceful solution," it adds. The letter itself has been signed by organisations including the European Theatre Convention and Opera Europa, representing major theatre and opera organisations across the continent. In the UK these include Belarus Free Theatre, the Royal Opera House, Opera North, Welsh National Opera and Glyndebourne.
Get Back - Sir Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar, Sam Fender, Olivia Rodrigo, Foals and Wolf Alice will all play the Glastonbury Festival when it returns this summer. More than 80 acts have been added to the line-up, alongside previously-announced headliner Billie Eilish.
Sir Paul will top the bill on the Pyramid Stage on Saturday 25 June, exactly one week after he turns 80. He last played in 2004 and was due to headline the 2020 festival before Covid forced organisers to cancel. "When he finally confirmed, we were beyond excited," organiser Emily Eavis said. "For us, having Paul McCartney is obviously a dream, a huge moment in our history. It means the world getting Paul McCartney to Glastonbury."
Eavis also announced that proceeds from the event would go towards the Red Cross Ukraine appeal, as well as the festival's regular charities, WaterAid, Oxfam and Greenpeace.
Cabaret - A new cabaret venue is launching in a former Boots store in Manchester this summer. Sonata Piano and Cabaret Lounge is founded by Dale Bassett, a trained singer and cabaret artist. Bassett aims for the venue to be inspired by the cabaret clubs of New York and Berlin, where guests will "experience everything from pop standards to Broadway ballads, from jazz classics to quirky cabaret". The cabaret club is located in the basement storeroom of a former Boots store on St Ann’s Alley in the city centre.
Chromatica - Lady Gaga has released the dates for the summer tour of her album Chromatica. The tour kicks off on 17 July in Dusseldorf with the 14 other shows spread across 14 cities in Europe and North America, from Paris to London. It will feature hits from her 2020 album. Alongside the rescheduled dates, added shows include an extra London performance on 30 July at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
(Jim Evans)
8 March 2022

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