The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Vital Statistics - Almost a quarter of young adults never go to the theatre, preferring to stay at home to watch TV or use social media, according to new research. A study of 2,000 18 to 30-year-olds found that 24% of respondents said they never attend theatre performances, with this figure higher among men than women. And 20% of respondents said they go once a year, with 27% attending two to three times a year.
Of those surveyed, 51% said they most enjoyed watching TV in their spare time, compared to 11% who chose going to the theatre. More respondents chose using social media (36%) over a trip to a theatre production. The survey found that ticket prices was the top factor which, if improved, would encourage young adults to attend the theatre more regularly.
Respondents also said they would welcome interactive technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, if they were made available as part of visits. People who were taken to shows as a child were more likely to continue visits as an adult, with 59% now going at least once a year. Of those who never went to the theatre as children, 65% have never gone as adults. The poll was carried out for specialist insurers Ecclesiastical, which operates in the arts, heritage, education and church sectors.
In The Courts - A US judge has rejected a legal case accusing Ed Sheeran of copying parts of Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On to be dropped. In his decision, District Judge Louis Stanton said a jury should decide. He said he found "substantial similarities between several of the two works' musical elements".
The action has been brought against Sheeran, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Atlantic Records by the estate and heirs of the late producer Ed Townsend, who co-wrote Let's Get It On with Gaye.
Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody was the surprise winner of two major prizes at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards. The Freddie Mercury biopic took home the trophies for best film drama and best drama actor for its star Rami Malek, who played the late frontman. Despite being heavily tipped and nominated for five prizes, A Star Is Born took home just one award - best original song for Shallow.
Royal Moves - Andrew Lloyd Webber has revealed further details of the £45m refurbishment of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, including plans to make the auditorium a flexible space. Producers will be able to choose between a proscenium arch or in-the-round configuration, and capacity will be reduced from 2,200 to 2,000. In addition, front of house facilities will be open to the public all day, which owner LW Theatres hopes will make Theatre Royal Drury Lane a “destination venue in its own right”.
The final performance of musical 42nd Street took place on 5 January, and the Grade I listed venue has now gone dark for 20 months. It will reopen in September 2020 with a ‘blockbuster’ show that is transferring from Broadway.
(Jim Evans)

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