Academic collaborations central to new Bloomsbury Theatre programme

14 Feb 2019

The University College London-run venue, which opens this week after a three-and-a-half-year revamp, will investigate how research and theatre relate to each other through a new ‘Performance Lab’. One of the first acts will be an experiment by a neuroscience professor into what happens to the body when people laugh.

Social media following is a factor in casting roles, actors say

14 Feb 2019

Several actors have shared experiences online about adverts and auditions that either required information on or a set number of followers on platforms including Instagram and Twitter. The Casting Director’s Guild described the trend as “disheartening”.

Preston artist studio expands to meet demand

12 Feb 2019

The Birley, set up by University of Central Lancashire graduates in 2014, is to take over the first floor of its Preston city centre premises and triple the available studio and project space.

Creative industries group opposes EU copyright plans

11 Feb 2019

A collective including representatives of the music and broadcasting industries has written an open letter arguing that the EU’s copyright directive should be halted, as it would risk leaving European rightsholders worse off. But the Council of Music Makers, which includes the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors and the Musicians’ Union, says the directive proceedings should continue.

Fringe producer loses venue after exploitation accusations

11 Feb 2019

Major producer C Venues has lost the right to use Adam House, its base at the festival for almost 20 years, following accusations that it exploits its staff. The University of Edinburgh has handed the venue to rival outfit Gilded Balloon, after the Fair Fringe campaign claimed that C Venues’ business model was “built on exploitation, underpayment and overworked staff”.

MP calls to scrap GCSEs

11 Feb 2019

Conservative Robert Halfon, Chair of the Education Select Committee, says the exams have become “pointless”, and should be replaced with a baccalaureate that will include technical and creative subjects to give young people the skills that employers are looking for.

Arts attendance in Northern Ireland falls by a quarter as cuts bite

A man playing a guitar on stage
08 Feb 2019

Annually Funded Organisations are suffering “damage to long-term sustainability”, having slashed marketing budgets in the face of core funding cuts of almost 40% over three years.

Mayor launches trust to support affordable artist workspaces

A man wearing gloves working with tools at a table
08 Feb 2019

The Creative Land Trust, backed by seed funding of £4m from City Hall and £2m from Arts Council England, will seek additional finance from property developers and ask London councils to safeguard affordable workspaces.

Report challenges Minister’s claim of ‘stable’ arts GCSE takeup

08 Feb 2019

An analysis of the Department for Education’s own figures finds that since 2014, the proportion of students taking music GCSE has fallen by 17%, and the proportion taking at least one arts GCSE has fallen by almost 18%.

Exploitation rife as unpaid work subsidises the arts

A group of people sitting in a circle holding papers
08 Feb 2019

Working practices that “wouldn't be tolerated in any other industry” have become the norm across the sector, with employees and freelances expected to work for nothing to enable their artist output to be delivered. 

Civic cultural partnerships key to driving growth, says report

Photo of Cliffords Tower York
08 Feb 2019

An enquiry backed by the UK’s four arts councils recommends that creative industry tax reliefs should be extended, that more cultural organisations adopt contactless giving, and that cities across the UK introduce fiscal measures such as a tourist tax to fund culture.

UK nations back calls for Town of Culture award

Photo of Yvette Cooper MP
08 Feb 2019

MPs from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England spoke in favour of setting up a new award to rival the City of Culture award, which has been credited with rejuvenating areas of the UK.

BBC and ACE partner on new fund for young creatives

08 Feb 2019

500 artists will be commissioned through New Creatives, a joint scheme launched by Arts Council England and BBC Arts, which will provide opportunities for artists aged 16-30 from underrepresented backgrounds. Five hubs, led by creative organisations, will cover regions across England – including a Northern hub run by Tyneside Cinema.

UK’s ‘first ever’ touring production with job-sharing actors

08 Feb 2019

Performers Lizzie Wort and Ruth Calkin will share a role in Twirlywoos Live!, a show based on a CBeebies programme, which begins a three-month tour this month. Campaign group Parents and Carers in Performing Arts (PiPA) described the role as a “landmark moment” for the sector.

London 02 arena owner merges with Manchester arena owner

08 Feb 2019

AEG Facilities and SMG will now be known as ASM Global, and will collectively operate more than three hundred venues across the world, including venues in London, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle.

Edinburgh forges ahead with tourist tax for culture

08 Feb 2019

The City Council has given the green light for proposals for a Transient Visitor Levy, which is expected to charge tourists £2 per room per night for a maximum of seven nights. The funding will be used to support growth in the city and ensure future investment in culture, heritage, arts and sport.

Edinburgh Fringe will not ban ‘exploitative’ venues

07 Feb 2019

Festival Fringe Chief Executive Shona McCarthy – under fire since claiming a campaign to ensure the living wage is paid in all venues put the entire festival at risk – has refused to ban producers and venues accused of exploitative pay practices from appearing on the official Fringe website. She said the Fringe would instead work with people to “find solutions” and “support and improve”.

Stage Manager sues Royal Opera House over curtain fall

06 Feb 2019

68-year-old Gary Crofts is suing the venue for £200k in compensation after a section of the stage curtain, weighing half a tonne, nearly crashed down on him in November 2016 during a ballet production. Crofts’ lawyers say he had not recovered from a different workplace accident, which occurred at the venue two years earlier, and therefore suffered a “disabling deterioration of his prior psychological condition”.

Greenwich-based arts organisations face funding cuts

06 Feb 2019

£1.4m will be withdrawn from a fund open to volunteer groups and charities, Greenwich Council confirmed in a recent meeting, as a result of cuts in direct Government funding.

Musicians charity plans Tinnitus research

06 Feb 2019

Help Musicians UK (HMUK) has partnered with the British Tinnitus Association to assess the effects, management and prevention of the condition among those working in the industry. Over half of respondents to a HMUK survey in 2015 said they live with Tinnitus.

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