The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 11 January 2022
Overwhelming Loss - Bring It On the Musical has cancelled its planned UK tour dates after suffering an "overwhelming loss of income" due to omicron disruption. The show was forced to cancel 13 performances during its six-week run at the Southbank Centre in London due to self-isolation requirements, losing hundreds of thousands of pounds, producers said. It continues at the Queen Elizabeth Hall until 22 January, however producer Selladoor Worldwide has now announced that the touring dates that followed will not go ahead. It had been due to visit locations across the UK until 30 July.
A statement from Selladoor said: "Cancelling 13 performances has resulted in an overwhelming loss of income for the production during a peak period that would otherwise have provided a vital financial backbone of the tour. This lost income, amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds, has sadly rendered the remainder of the tour financially unsustainable. It would be irresponsible for us to continue, and we therefore have no option but to cancel the remainder of the tour."
Hard Times - Welsh arts organisations have warned of further income losses and threats to their recovery, as the government confirms heightened Covid-19 restrictions will continue. At present, theatres and cinemas in Wales have capacity limits of 200 people and social distancing must be in place between groups. These measures have been in place since 26 December, and will now remain for at least another week because of the continuing rise in omicron cases.
Big Night Out - The National Lottery’s Big Night of Musicals - a one-off stadium event taking place in Manchester this month - will be broadcast on BBC One, organisers have confirmed. The show, which features performances from major British musicals and will be hosted by Jason Manford, will be shown on television on 29 January.
The event at the AO Arena in Manchester is described as a "one-of-a-kind night of musicals spectacular" and hopes to highlight the importance of theatre to communities in the UK. It is being staged by the National Lottery, which has supported more than 2,000 theatres during the pandemic as part of £228m given to the arts.
The show was announced last month, with a line-up including Frozen the Musical, Dear Evan Hansen, The Lion King, Back to the Future, The Wiz and School of Rock. New shows confirmed for the bill include Tina - The Tina Turner Musical, & Juliet, Waitress and Get Up Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical.
Stream On - Adele's 30 was the best-selling album of 2021, after just six weeks on sale. The star sold more than 600,000 copies of her so-called "divorce album", with 80% of those sales on CD and vinyl, bucking the trend towards streaming. However. the total falls far below the 800,000 copies her previous album, 25, sold in its first week. The discrepancy illustrates how the music industry has become dominated by singles, thanks to streaming, which now accounts for 83% of consumption.
A record 147 billion tracks were streamed in the UK last year, up 5.7% from 2020. Ed Sheeran had 2021's biggest-selling single, Bad Habits. Olivia Rodrigo had the second and third-biggest songs, with Good 4 U and Drivers License. Eight of the top 10 albums were from British musicians. Ed Sheeran took second place with = and ABBA came third with their comeback record Voyage - which was the year's biggest-seller on vinyl. Perennial best-sellers by Queen, Fleetwood Mac and Elton John held on to their positions in the top 10, thanks to buoyant streaming numbers.
Platinum Party - To mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, there will be a Platinum Party at Buckingham Palace on Saturday 4 June, where members of the public will be invited to apply to attend a live concert. Performers have yet to be named, but it is billed as ‘bringing together some of the world's biggest stars to celebrate the most significant moments from the Queen's seven-decade reign’. The ballot for UK residents to secure tickets will be launched in February.
(Jim Evans)
11 January 2022

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