Building Concerns - The Royal and Derngate theatre in Northampton has closed for the rest of the month following the “unfortunate discovery” of RAA concrete in its infrastructure. It makes the venue the first major theatre to be impacted by the crisis involving reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), which was used to build schools and other buildings between the 1950s and mid-1990s.
The government has described the concrete as “a lightweight form of concrete”. The concrete has since been found to be at risk of collapse, with schools across the UK having to close because of the potential danger. In a statement, the Royal and Derngate said: “Due to the unfortunate discovery of RAA Concrete in our buildings, Royal and Derngate is temporarily closed. During this closure period, entry to the building is prohibited, and all performances and events during September at Royal and Derngate are being postponed.” It said that the Northampton Filmhouse had also been temporarily closed.
Events cancelled at the venue include Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, as well as comedy events including Tim Vine and Seann Walsh. Meanwhile, the YMCA Theatre in Scarborough, used predominantly for community productions, has also closed. The venue said a crack in concrete was found in an inspection of the building. The YMCA Theatre said the crack was found in an inspection of the building prompted by reports reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) posed a safety risk in some schools. The community theatre is based in a former school built in the 1960s.
Mud Bath - Organisers yesterday gave the go-ahead for large numbers of revellers to leave the Burning Man festival in Nevada after wet conditions eased. They said people could begin leaving the desert site at noon (19:00 GMT) but suggested delaying until Tuesday to prevent congestion. Heavy rain had created a mud bath.
The event's traditional finale - the burning of an effigy - was postponed to Monday evening. A driving ban at the site was lifted on Monday afternoon. "Please know that while conditions are improving and roads are drying, the playa is still muddy and may be difficult to navigate in some neighbourhoods and down certain streets," organisers said.
No Vault - Vault Festival will not go ahead in February and March next year, after it was unable to find a new home. It was announced in February 2023 that the London fringe theatre festival had been left without a space, after the owner of its host venue – derelict tunnels in Waterloo – said it was looking for more commercial enterprises to fill the space.
Andy George, director and co-founder of the festival, previously said the organisation was "turning over every stone" in the hope of finding a new venue. However, Vault has now released a statement confirming that the festival would not go ahead in February or March. It said: "We’re aware that a huge community of artists are eagerly awaiting news on the opening of applications for Vault Festival 2024. We’ve been holding out as long as we can, but it’s time to get real with you. Vault Festival in February and March 2024 won’t be going ahead." The statement said that Vault was still searching for a new home, but putting the festival on in February and March was now "unfeasible".
In The Sale Room - An album sleeve signed by all four members of Led Zeppelin has sold for £15,000 at auction, despite not containing the actual record. The cardboard sleeve of the 1973 album Houses of the Holy was only estimated to sell for between £1,200 and £1,800. Items signed by all band members are rare, due to drummer John Bonham's 1980 death and the band's subsequent split. The seller acquired the autographs during a chance encounter at Gatwick Airport in 1977.
Farewell - Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, best known for his 1970's hit Margaritaville, has died aged 76. "Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1 surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs," said a statement on his website. "He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many."
(Jim Evans)
5 September 2023

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