Theatres at Risk - The Theatres Trust has launched a new programme, Resilient Theatres: Resilient Communities, to help reduce the threat to at-risk theatres and strengthen theatre communities. The national advisory body for theatres, has been awarded a grant of more than £294,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund as well as funding from the Pilgrim Trust and Swire Charitable Trust to establish the initiative. The three-year project will focus on supporting communities operating a theatre building and communities considering taking over a theatre building.
Resilient Theatres: Resilient Communities will feature a grants programme to fund strategic and organisational development work for three to six theatres a year, a new training and knowledge-sharing programme, and a series of free webinars open to all theatres to develop expertise across the sector.
Theatres Trust director Jon Morgan said: "As the only organisation that works with all the UK’s theatres, we understand the historic and cultural significance of theatre buildings and their importance to their local areas. Resilient Theatres: Resilient Communities will enable us to help theatres make stronger connections with their local communities and equip them with the skills to make a real and lasting impact."
Stuart McLeod, director of the England, London and South at the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: "Our theatres are integral to our communities, but they have had to deal with unprecedented challenges in recent years. We are committed to supporting the UK’s heritage to adapt and strengthen its resilience to thrive, and this innovative project offers theatres the chance to do just that."
Oklahoma! - Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! is to transfer to Wyndham’s Theatre in the West End following its run at the Young Vic. Produced in the West End by Eva Price, Sonia Friedman Productions and Michael Harrison in association with the Young Vic, the musical will open in February 2023. Dates and casting are to be announced.
Price, Friedman and Harrison said: “Very occasionally a production comes along that redefines a classic musical for a generation – Daniel Fish’s revelatory reimagining of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s masterpiece Oklahoma! will be forever stamped in the memories of those that see it.
Refurbishment - The Grand Opera House York is undergoing a significant refurbishment to increase accessibility and improve its backstage facilities. The venue has stated that the works mark "the start of a significant investment" into the theatre. Most of the work concludes at the end of August, with the final stages to be completed by 9 September.
The refurbishment will include a new ambassador lounge VIP bar, accessible washroom facilities, new flooring and carpet, and a new-look foyer bar. Changes will also be made to the box office, with further technical improvements to the theatre’s backstage facilities, a new digital order-to-your-seat service and new seating in the dress circle. No structural changes will be made to the venue’s capacity, with the theatre continuing to seat 1,004 people.
Let It Be - A statue of Brian Epstein, the manager of The Beatles, has been unveiled in Liverpool. The sculpture is located near the former site of his family's NEMS record shop in Whitechapel. Epstein is credited with smartening up The Fab Four's stage performances, their appearance and style. Tommy Calderbank, from the Brian Epstein Legacy Project, said: "I just feel it's really important to mark the people who made The Beatles." The statue's unveiling marked the 55th anniversary of Epstein's death on 27 August 1967.
(Jim Evans)
30 August 2022

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