Twelfth ROH performance cancelled
The Royal Opera House has cancelled a performance for the twelfth time since it reopened seven weeks ago.
A special schools' performance of Harrison Birtwhistle's Gawaine had to be called off because of a bug in a computer program backstage, the cause of many of the previous cancellations.
The government gave the ROH an extra £16m in funding for educational projects, and this was the first such project.
AMP looking for half a million
Adventures in Motion Pictures, the producers of the all-male hit version of Swan Lake is trying to raise £500,000 from private investors, to cover a shortfall in its funding. AMP used to receive a grant from the Arts Council but it lost that when Swan Lakebecame a comercial success.
West End theatre the Criterion has been sold. The owners of the freehold, Japanese department store Sogo, has sold it to a property developer. This should not, however, affect the theatre itself, as the Criterion Theare Trust has a 52 year lease on the property.
Old Vic nearly safe
The Old Vic Theatre Trust is within sight of raising the money to buy the freehold of the property. The Trust has to raise £2m by March, in addition to the £1.5m already deposited. According to Trust boss Sally Greene, it is by no means "in the bag" but they are "almost there."
Assembly Rooms still in the balance
Even if the Edinburgh City Council awards him the tenancy of the Assembly Rooms for this year's Edinburgh Fringe, he may not be able to raise sufficient sponsorship to open the venue, William Burdett-Coutts, artistic director of Assembly Theatre, has said. The decision will be made on Monday 24th January.
Tristan Bates closes
The Tristan Bates Theatre at the Actors Centre in Camden has closed to enable essential health and safety work to be carried out. The theatre had reformed itself as a members' club in an attempt to avoid the necessity for a licence from the Borough Council when its proviosional licence, granted in January 1998 ran out, but that proved not to be the case.
RSC Chairman to retire
Geoffrey Cass, chairman of the RSC, is to retire at ther end of this year after 15 years with the companty. He wll be replaced by Lord Alexander of Weedon, former chairman of NatWest Bank.
Stockport Plaze saved
After sixteen months of hard work, local theatre and heritage enthusiasts have succeeded in persuading Stockport MBC to back plans for reintroducing large scale, live arts, entertainment and film to the town at the historic Plaza Cinema and Variety Theatre in Mersey Square.
Stockport Council has agreed to make a grant of £500,000 to Stockport Plaza Trust. a charity formed by campaigners to develop the Plaza as Stockport's principal performing arts venue. The grant will enable the organisation to purchase the building and undertake a number of urgent repairs.
Opened in 1932, the Plaza is acknowledged by heritage experts as the finest surviving 1930s super cinema building in the UK north of Birmingham. Originally seating nearly 1,900, the building is seen as the ideal replacement for the Davenport Theatre which was demolished in 1996 leaving many local arts groups without a home. The Plaza was put up for sale in 1999 by Rank Leisure which had been running it an a bingo hall since 1967. Despite the dominating presence of the huge, white terracotta facade over Mersey Square, many people had forgotten that a theatre of this size and quality even existed in the town. The building, listed grade 2 in 1997, is in a remarkable state of preservation with virtually all of its opulent Egyptian themed interior intact. The unique Compton theatre organ designed by Norman Cocker, then organist at Manchester Cathedral, is still in full working order.
Work to reinstate the Plaza for theatre use will begin as soon as the keys are handed over. Stockport Plaza Trust now has the task of raising the money to complete the transformation so that the building can he reopened to the public. A great deal of support has already been provided by local businesses which see the reopening of the Plaza as a vital step towards regenerating cultural life in the town centre, particularly in the evenings.
Bob Howorth, Director of the Trust, will he pleased to receive enquiries about the project and offers of support on 0161-335 0220.