The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 22 January 2019
Night Train to Georgia - Gladys Knight has accepted an invitation to perform the Star Spangled Banner at this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show, which is being held in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia on 3 February. It was confirmed this week that the halftime show will be performed by Maroon 5, with rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi supporting.
There has been criticism directed at some black artists for failing to show solidarity with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kapaernick, who has been without a club since 2016 after “taking a knee” during the performance of the anthem in protest against racial injustices. Artists including Rihanna and Cardi B reportedly turned down the show, traditionally seen as a massive opportunity for artists to be seen by a TV audience of hundreds of millions.
Gladys is now facing similar criticism but, in a statement to Variety she said she intends to "give the anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life."
- Five areas in England will benefit from a new £20m Cultural Development Fund. Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright, who announced the winning areas, said the fund would help people build careers in the arts and culture locally but "also boost wider investment and diversify the creative economy". He said: "Creativity, arts and heritage make our towns and cities unique and our communities better places to live. The five areas are:
Wakefield - £4.4m: To bring together major and cultural organisations including Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Hepworth Wakefield, and turn Wakefield into an internationally renowned location promoting the UK's world-class creative industries.
Grimsby- £3.2m: To fund a new programme of international events and public art to revive the town centre and to create new production facilities.
Plymouth - £3.5m: To develop the use of immersive and digital technologies and fund the cultural programme to mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower ship's pioneering voyage.
The Kent Thames Estuary - £4.3m: To help develop a globally-significant creative production corridor.
Worcester - £3m: To regenerate the railway arches into affordable creative workspaces and support a festivals programme.
Return Run - War Horse is to return to London for a run in new venue Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre. The new space, from the team behind the King’s Cross Theatre, will open in the summer, with War Horse playing there from 18 October to 23 November 23, as part of its UK tour. The inaugural production at the theatre, which will be a flexible space that can seat up to 2,000 people, has yet to be announced.
Extended Run - Tina – The Tina Turner Musical has extended its booking period in the West End until December. Stars Adrienne Warren and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith will continue in their roles of Tina and Ike Turner until April, when a new cast will take the show into its second year at the Aldwych Theatre.
In The End - The Cranberries have marked the first anniversary of Dolores O'Riordan's death with the new single from what will be their final album. The band say their forthcoming eighth album In The End will be their last, bringing a 30-year career to "a fitting and powerful closure". O'Riordan died after being found unconscious in the bath at a hotel in Park Lane, London, on 15 January 2018.
(Jim Evans)
22 January 2019

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