Regional Catastrophe - Regional theatres have claimed that planned government cuts could have "catastrophic" effects on the sector. George Osborne last week told government departments to prepare for cuts of 25% and 40% in order to make £20 billion of savings. Curve chief executive Fiona Allan said that if these cuts were passed on to the theatre sector by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Communities and Local Government, they would have a "catastrophic effect on the theatre ecology of this country".

She warned that training programmes, support for emerging artists and the development of new work "would be slashed" as a result. "The subsidised sector is without doubt the research and development arm of the commercial sector, where new productions, new work and new talent are developed. Ultimately, cuts of this magnitude would see the demise of the West End and regional touring as we know it, with far-reaching social, reputational, tourism and economic consequences," she said.

Full Stream Ahead - A surge in music streaming in the UK has seen it pass 500m streams in a week for the first time. Figures from The Official Charts Company show there were 505,849,000 audio streams in the week ending 16 July - almost double the amount of the similar period last year. There have been 11.5 billion streams in the first half of 2015 - an increase of 80% on the similar period in 2014. Ed Sheeran is the most streamed artist of the year so far. Geoff Taylor, chief executive of music industry body the BPI, called the figures "remarkable". He added, "It demonstrates vividly just how quickly streaming is being embraced by British music fans."

Amazon on Stream - Amazon has entered the UK streaming market with the launch of Prime Music, a new service available to Amazon Prime customers as part of their annual £79 subscription. Prime Music will provide access to more than one million songs and about 500 specially created playlists. Amazon's answer to Spotify, Deezer and Google Play follows the launch of Apple Music and Jay-Z's Tidal this year. However, there are some big holes in the Amazon Prime catalogue. The likes of Amy Winehouse, Abba, Katy Perry, Kanye West and Eminem - all part of the Universal Music Group - are unavailable at launch.

On The Block - Ed Sheeran has landed himself a role in a new television series which has been billed as a "blood-soaked medieval epic". It seems having platinum-selling albums is not enough for the British star who will play Sir Cormac, a deadly protege of a high-ranking church elder in The Bastard Executioner, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show, about a 14th century warrior, is currently being shot in the UK by Kurt Sutter, who also created Sons Of Anarchy.

Sheeran revealed he was a Sons fan during the biker drama's final season and even recorded a track for the penultimate episode. He will join the cast with True Blood's Stephen Moyer and Sons' Katey Sagal.

Fraud at the Fringe - An internal fraud totalling more than £220,000 has been discovered by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. The fraud was carried out by an employee, who cannot be named for legal reasons but who no longer works for the society. In a letter to its members, society chair Timothy O'Shea said, "We discovered earlier this year that over a period of eight years around £220,000 in total was stolen by one employee using complex financial disbursements." Since uncovering the fraud all monies have been recovered and a complaint made to Police Scotland.

(Jim Evans)

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