Solidarity - One of Russia's most popular singers, Alla Pugacheva, has called on the Russian authorities to declare her a "foreign agent", in solidarity with her strongly anti-war husband Maxim Galkin. A showbiz star too, he was labelled a "foreign agent" on Friday after condemning Russia's attack on Ukraine.
On social media, Pugacheva called her husband "a true incorruptible Russian patriot, who wants... an end to our lads dying for illusory aims". She said the Kremlin's "illusory aims" in Ukraine "make our country a pariah and the lives of our citizens extremely difficult". Galkin, a comedian, TV presenter and singer, wanted "prosperity for his motherland, peace, free speech", she added.
In The Courts - Evolution Productions is suing St Albans council for £600,000 after its pantomime at the Alban Arena was cancelled when asbestos was found in the venue. The theatre company, which was producing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as Alban Arena’s 2021/22 pantomime, also claims the show’s set was destroyed. The production was halted 12 performances into its run on 16 December, 2021, when the council, which owns the venue, took back control of the building from operators 1Life. It had been due to play until 2 January.
According to Evolution Productions, the pantomime had to be cancelled, ticket money refunded and the actors were sent home without further pay. The company added: "We were left with huge losses from the cancelled production. In addition, we were informed that most of our set had been destroyed and the same had happened to the lighting equipment we had hired in from TSL.
The company claimed that despite numerous emails and phone calls, it had had "absolutely no response from the council" - even though it had produced the pantomime at the venue for the last 10 years.
Soho News - The owner of Soho’s Boulevard Theatre – which closed after just six months in March 2020 – is seeking an operator to reopen the venue. From the end of September, the building will reopen – for the first time since its closure – as a temporary pop-up music club for nine months. Having opened in October 2019, the 165-capacity venue was forced to shut after just six months due to the pandemic.
The building has been closed ever since but will now open to the public for the first time in two and a half years as a temporary venue for events organisation Soho Live Music Club. Long term, Fawn James – who is director of the company that owns the building, Soho Estates - said she was in the process of seeking a long-term operator for the Boulevard. The theatre was previously run by a team that James assembled.
Weather Report - Lady Gaga was forced to halt the final show of her Chromatica Ball tour in Florida after a fierce storm broke. The singer was approaching the end of her show when lightning started to strike around Miami's Hard Rock Stadium. "We just got to stop the show for a minute," she told the 65,000 fans at the show, advising them to "really calmly move to the inside area". Although she had hoped the storm would pass, the concert ultimately had to be called off.
The star later posted a tearful apology to fans on her Instagram account. "We really tried to finish the show tonight in Miami but we couldn't because even when the rain stopped there was lightning striking right down to the ground so close to us," she said, still wearing her stage outfit, and wiping rain from her face. "I don't know what I would do if anything happened to anybody in the audience or to any member of my crew."
(Jim Evans)
20 September 2022

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