The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Copyright Matters - Sir Paul McCartney has written an open letter to the European Parliament, calling for all music artists to be fairly paid for their work. The former Beatle is urging MEPs to back proposed changes to EU copyright law - Article 13 - which would force user upload content platforms to pay songwriters and performers fairly for the use of their work.
The 76-year-old musician says that without this change, the future of the music industry could be at risk. In the note, Sir Paul writes: "Music and culture matter. They are a heart and soul. But they don't just happen; they demand the hard work of so many people. "Importantly, music also creates jobs and economic growth and digital innovation across Europe. Unfortunately the value gap jeopardises the music ecosystem. We need an internet that is fair and sustainable for all.”
He goes on: "But today some user upload content platforms refuse to compensate artists and all music creators fairly for their work while they exploit it for their own profit. The value gap is that gulf between the value these platforms derive from music and the value they pay creators." Sir Paul concludes with a plea for MEPs to support the changes, writing: "You hold in your hands the future of music here in Europe."
- National Youth Theatre has announced a new £37,500 fund to give young people access to drama in the wake of arts cuts in schools. The audition access fund will provide support for 30 schools and youth groups that have lost drama provision, in the form of bursaries, grants for NYT audition fees and free training workshops, for the next three years. NYT patron and alumnus Hugh Bonneville is supporting the initiative, which was announced as part of NYT’s summer season.
NYT artistic director and chief executive Paul Roseby said: “As opportunities for young people to engage in drama in schools have sadly decreased, the demand for National Youth Theatre opportunities are up and we’re responding to that by working in more venues around the country than ever before this year.
Costello Cancels - Elvis Costello has cancelled remaining dates on his European tour after undergoing surgery for cancer. He apologised for disappointing fans, and said he was resting on the advice of a doctor because he does not want to endanger his health. He added, "The spirit has been more than willing, but I have to now accept that it is going to take longer than I would have wished for me to recover my full strength. Therefore, I must reluctantly cancel all the remaining engagements of this tour." His European summer tour, supported by his backing band The Imposters, was due to play a total of 10 dates.
Dance On - Matt Cardle is returning to the West End to join the cast of Strictly Ballroom the Musical. He will replace Will Young in the role of Wally Strand, and joins the cast on 31 July. Cardle, who won The X Factor in 2010, appeared in the musical Memphis in 2015, alongside Beverley Knight. He said: “It’s so rare that a role comes around that you can put so much of your own stamp on. I have seen the show and it’s absolutely incredible. To have the opportunity to sing all these huge songs every night is a real honour.”
Prison Reforms - Plans to turn the former Reading Gaol into a theatre have received backing from the local council, bringing the project yet another step closer to realisation. In May, campaign group Theatre and Arts Reading secured access to the site to carry out a feasibility study for their plans to turn the space into an arts hub. It would include a 1,450-seat theatre, that would act as a receiving house, and a smaller 450-seat space. Now, a report due to go before Reading Borough Council’s policy committee sets out the local authority’s position on the site, which welcomes the proposals for an arts space.
“Development of the prison site as a ‘cultural hub’ would ensure continued and enhanced access for local residents to a range of cultural opportunities providing both educational and well-being benefits,” states the report.
(Jim Evans)
10 July 2018

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