The vibe among socially distanced audiences in a reduced-capacity Lyric will undoubtedly be different, but the announcement heralds the gradual reopening of an unrecognisably quiet West End, where footfall this summer was down by 63% on the previous year. Next month, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap – the longest-running play in London and, indeed, the world – will reopen at the St Martin’s theatre. The Nimax group of West End theatres has announced plans to restart shows including the musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and comedy The Play That Goes Wrong. Next month, Nimax’s Apollo theatre will reopen with a short run for ex-NHS doctor Adam Kay’s solo show This is Going to Hurt. The first night, on 22 October, is a free performance for NHS staff only. … [Read more...] about Tudor girl-band concert Six set to be first musical to reopen in West End
Asian films 2016
It’s time, Mr Dowden, you faced up to a simple truth: artists know much more about the arts than politicians. So far the most practical plan for the theatre has come from Sam Mendes, who has made numerous recommendations: increasing the theatre’s tax-relief scheme from 20% to 50%, inviting the government to become theatrical “angels” by investing in productions, challenging the streaming services to put money into an industry from which they directly benefit. Have you spoken to Sir Sam about his ideas? Have you co-opted him onto the cultural renewal taskforce you have set up? Or are you simply fiddle-faddling while Rome burns? … [Read more...] about Dear Oliver Dowden, have you even begun to grasp the scale of our arts crisis?
While the careers of those in theatre have suffered in recent months, there are many, he writes, “whom Covid-19 has made rich”. He continues: “It would be deeply ironic if the streaming services – Netflix, Amazon Prime et al – should be making lockdown millions from our finest acting, producing, writing and directing talent, while the very arts culture that nurtured that talent pool is allowed to die.” He calls upon the titans of those industries to “use a fraction of their Covid-19 windfall” to support the performing arts during the crisis. … [Read more...] about Sam Mendes calls on Netflix and Amazon to share ‘Covid-19 windfall’ with theatre
For the last two decades, English urban policy has focused on what’s known as “agglomeration”, or the spatial concentration of economic activity in cities. This approach to urban development has long treated city centres as convenient and easy landing points for global financial capital. It’s naturally appealing to global investors, who crave speedy and easy financial returns built around the sure-fire bet of land and property development. Agglomeration is the reason our cities have densely concentrated networks of offices and financial centres, and why people in London, the UK’s main financial centre, spend an average of 81 minutes a day commuting into work. … [Read more...] about UK cities should work for the people who live in them, not for distant shareholders
In a battle-torn landscape governed by zeroes and ones, nuance, compromise and empathy are the first casualties. If I were to sum up the online culture war in one word it would be “diaphobia”, a term coined by the psychiatrist RD Laing meaning “fear of being influenced by other people”, the opposite of dialogue. Our ever-present underlying historical and enculturated emotions will nudge us to cherrypick and polish the nuggets of information that support a stance that may have been in our bodies from childhood. Once we have taken sides, the algorithms will supply us with a stream of content to entrench and confirm our beliefs. … [Read more...] about Be it on God, guns or Greta, social media offers neat solutions for our messy feelings