The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 6 October 2020
Recovery Fund - Theatres expecting to receive news of whether they will receive Culture Recovery Fund grants have been told they must wait a week longer, due to the "volume and complexity of the applications". Arts organisations that have bid for grants of £1m million or less as part of the £500m fund were due to be notified about Arts Council England’s decision no later than 5pm on 5 October. However, 72 hours before the original deadline, organisations were contacted by ACE to say that the announcement would be delayed by a week and decisions would be confirmed on 12 October instead.
ACE is administering the part of the fund for arts organisations, with the British Film Institute and Historic England also responsible for distributing parts of the funding. The body said: "We understand this is an anxious time for many people and many organisations up and down the country. We apologise that there is a week’s delay in letting the first tranche of grants applicants know decisions, but we will still be able to get money to them this month.
"Given the volume and complexity of the applications that came through to this brand-new fund, we’ve had to do additional due diligence to make sure money from the public purse is spent responsibly. We are working hard to get this much-needed funding out as quickly as possible, to those who need it most.”
Palace Party - A concert celebrating West End musicals held in aid of theatrical charities has been announced to reopen the Palace Theatre. The Show Must Go On! Live at the Palace Theatre will take place across four performances on 13,14 and 15 November.
It will feature cast performances from shows including & Juliet, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Mamma Mia!, The Prince of Egypt, Six, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical and Wicked, with further shows and casting to be announced.
This will be the first production at the Palace Theatre since it closed in March, and is part of theatre operator Nimax Theatre’s autumn season of socially distanced shows. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was running at the theatre prior to its closure, with Burns previously confirming that the production will reopen once social distancing requirements are no longer in place. All profits raised from the production will support Acting For Others and the Fleabag Support Fund.
Picture This - The Royal Opera House is to sell a David Hockney portrait of its former boss in a bid to raise money to plug a shortfall caused by the pandemic. The painting of Sir David Webster will be auctioned at Christie's this month and is expected to fetch up to £18m. Current chief executive Alex Beard said it was "tough call" to sell the picture, but there was no alternative if the organisation was to survive. "We have to face the situation we are in and get through this," he said.
The London venue, home of international opera and the Royal Ballet, is the UK's biggest arts employer. It says it has lost £3 in every £5 of its income since the national lockdown forced it to close its doors in March. The sale of the Hockney portrait is part of a four-pronged plan to help the venue balance the books. There will also be significant redundancies and a fundraising appeal for public donations. In addition, the opera house has applied for a loan to the government's culture recovery fund.
Case Closed - The final possible legal challenge to Led Zeppelin's ownership of Stairway To Heaven has been defeated. The band were sued for copyright in 2014 over claims they had stolen the song's opening riff from Taurus, by a US band called Spirit. Led Zeppelin won the case in 2016, but it was revived on appeal in 2018. A court of appeals upheld the original verdict earlier this year. Now, the US Supreme Court has declined to hear the case, definitively ending it.
Stairway To Heaven regularly appears on lists of the greatest rock songs ever written, and the case has been one of the music industry's most closely-watched disputes. Millions of dollars were potentially at stake, with the song estimated to have earned $3.4m (£2.6m) in the five-year period that was at issue during the trial.
(Jim Evans)
6 October 2020

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