The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 12 March 2019
Rising Prices - Members of the House of Lords have expressed concern over the rising cost of West End theatre tickets and called on the government to investigate. Peers debated the issue in the House of Lords after the latest ticketing survey found the cost of top-price seats increased by nearly a fifth between 2017 and 2018.
Liberal democrat peer Patrick Boyle, who tabled the debate, asked the government to address the cost of theatre tickets in London and the effect this has on theatregoers. “The main beneficiaries of these higher prices are not so much the producers of the plays and musicals, but rather those who control access to theatres: the theatre owners, the ticket sellers and the discredited secondary ticket market.
“London theatres are already becoming too expensive for many regular theatregoers and I hope the government will take this issue very seriously. As we all know, one of the many reasons that people come to London is its theatres, but they are gradually becoming too expensive for anyone to be able to attend major plays.”
In The Saleroom - A demo recording of David Bowie's hit Starman will be auctioned today, Tuesday. The recording was made in 1971 by Bowie and his guitarist Mick Ronson. It was given by Ronson to Kevin Hutchinson, one of Ronson's friends who hoped to get into the music business. Hutchinson, who was a teenager at the time, said he had thought the recording was "OK" but that, having listened to it almost 50 years later, he had realised it was "phenomenal". He said: "Now I'm 65 and I played it, I just couldn't believe how good it is. But at the time, I thought: It's not bad. At 16 you're not totally impressed, nothing impresses you."
Dan Hampson, assistant auction manager at Omega Auctions, which is selling the demo in the Merseyside town of Newton-le-Willows, said: "In consultation with a Bowie expert, we can say with confidence that this tape contains a very early and possibly the first ever demo version of Starman. The demo also contains recordings of Moonage Daydream and Hang Onto Yourself and is expected to sell for around £10,000.
Fair Play - Sir Cliff Richard is backing a campaign for those accused of sexual offences to remain anonymous until they are charged after a false allegation against him led to a police raid on his home being broadcast by the BBC.
Falsely Accused Individuals For Reform (Fair) wants to secure anonymity for those accused of sexual offences until there is a charge, and reclassify those who make such allegations from victims to claimants. Sir Cliff said: "Being falsely accused myself and having that exposed in the media was the worst thing that has happened to me in my entire life. Even though untrue, the stigma is almost impossible to eradicate.”
Unfolding Drama - The producer of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical has revealed pre-show announcements have had to be “tailored” to remind audiences they are not watching a concert. Producer Tali Pelman said there was “enormous diversity” among audiences who watch the musical, ranging from playgoers who visit the National Theatre to people who are there to “party and sing along”.
“We have to tailor some of our announcements, to say: ‘Don’t worry, you will have the chance to sing and dance at the end, but please allow the drama to unfold’,” she said.
(Jim Evans)
12 March 2019

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