Mandela Musical - A new musical about Nelson Mandela has been announced as part of the Young Vic’s summer to autumn season. The London theatre has also announced a series of events called Taking Part 25 in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the theatre’s engagement programme.
Mandela, which tells the story of the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, will run from 28 November to 4 February. It has a book by Laiona Michelle, music and lyrics by Greg Dean Borowsky and Shaun Borowsky, and is directed by Schele Williams with choreography by Gregory Maqoma. The musical has been developed in partnership with Nandi Mandela, Luvuyo Madasa and the Mandela family.
Family Matters - The final four dates of The Addams Family UK tour have been cancelled, with producers blaming the ongoing impact of Covid-19. The musical is still due to visit Manchester Opera house this week and Norwich Theatre Royal from 26-30 April. However, the final four dates of the tour at Eastbourne Congress Theatre, Oxford’s New Theatre, His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen and Edinburgh Festival Theatre are no longer on sale online.
A statement from the show’s producers, posted online by Edinburgh Festival Theatre, said: "Due to the continued impact of the effects of COVID on our audiences and their willingness to return to the theatres, we have unfortunately had to take the decision to close the tour of The Addams Family earlier than planned. We apologise for any disappointment and inconvenience this might cause."
Fringe Warning - Producers have warned that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is becoming "untenable" for artists due to soaring accommodation costs, putting the future of the annual event at risk. Those speaking out include producer Francesca Moody and Pleasance Theatre Trust’s Anthony Alderson, who cautioned that the festival would "collapse" if rising prices were not addressed.
Moody, who was the original producer of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, told The Stage that the price per room for a month had risen from £1,000 to £1,300 pre-pandemic to a minimum of £1,800. This could add at least £5,500 to the accommodation costs for the 11 people (across two productions) that her company, Francesca Moody Productions, is taking to the fringe this year.
Moody warned that producers were also struggling with reduced availability of accommodation, due to the introduction of the Scottish Private Residential Tenancy agreement by the government in 2019. The legislation means that student tenancies are now open-ended, so landlords will not know far enough in advance whether the accommodation will be available for the fringe.
Farewell - Acclaimed composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle has died at the age of 87, his publisher has confirmed. He is perhaps best known for 1971 orchestral work The Triumph of Time, as well as operas The Mask Of Orpheus, Gawain and The Minotaur. The Royal Philharmonic Society called him "a true musical colossus".
(Jim Evans)
19 April 2022

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