The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 5 July 2022
Festival Funding - A free music festival which has been running for 15 years may not go ahead this summer due to a shortage in funds, organisers say. The charity-run Local and Live event, based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, said the cost of living crisis was hampering sponsorships. A petition has been started calling for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) to help fund the festival.
The council said it was working to find a solution. The volunteer-run event began in 2006 and hosts local musicians playing and works to promote grassroots music and musical education in the area through the Local and Live Charity. Festival organiser and charity chairman Paul Dunton said: "Everyone is feeling the pinch. We've just found things considerably more expensive this year. So it's just added to the burden I suppose. Getting the funding is proving a little bit more difficult this year and we've got more costs than ever, but we're determined to make it happen." Local and Live 2022 is due to take place from 26 to 29 August.
Fundraiser - A ballet company formed of Ukrainian dancers who have fled their homeland will make its West End debut this year. United Ukrainian Ballet will perform at the London Coliseum on 17 September to raise funds to support the people and culture of Ukraine. The company was formed by dancers who fled Ukraine and now live and train at The Hague in the Netherlands. The city has given them the former Royal Conservatoire to live and work in.
Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, a Ukrainian citizen, is creating a new interpretation of Giselle specifically for the company. The season will feature guest performances from Alina Cojocaru and Katja Khaniukova.
Wall Painting - A second mural depicting Sir Elton John as a "glitz and glamour musician" has appeared ahead of his two "homecoming" shows at Watford Football Club. A 30ft image of the singer graces the side of Watford Library, just weeks after the same artists created one of Elton at the stadium. Sir Elton is due to play at Vicarage Road in July to finish the European leg of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. Creators MurWalls said it was "a gift for the people of Watford and Elton".
Interval Drinks - A pop-up bar is to open outside the Actors’ Church in Covent Garden, which will host live performances over the summer. The Bard is being operated by Iris Theatre, which is running A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the church until 13 August. Iris Theatre said the Bard will “play host to a range of live performances over the summer”, including readings, music and comedy.
Supercalifragilistic - Mary Poppins will close in the West End on 8 January next year. The musical opened in October 2019 before closing in March 2020 due to theatres being shut during the pandemic, and reopened in August 2021.
It is produced by Disney and Cameron Mackintosh, who said: “When the new revised production of Mary Poppins opened at the end of 2019 with a tremendous cast headed by Zizi Strallen, Charlie Stemp and Petula Clark, the response was even more ecstatic than the original. We had always planned to run two years until the physical production was required elsewhere but Covid managed to stretch our timetable into 2023 allowing everyone to enjoy an additional supercalifragilistic last Christmas jolly holiday season.”
He added: “Mary Poppins has remained a timeless and timely, uplifting and joyous theatrical experience - but Mary never says goodbye, only au revoir till we meet again.”
Farewell - Theatres across London are dimmed their lights in memory of theatre director Peter Brook, who died on 2 July aged 97. Brook’s career spanned eight decades and included plays, opera and musicals. From 1947 to 1950 he was director of productions at the Royal Opera House. He also worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1950 to 1970, including directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1970, and he established the Bouffes du Nord Theatre in Paris, where he lived for 30 years.
(Jim Evans)
5 July 2022

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