London’s West End is rallying to keep its audiences amid the surge of the Omicron variant. A new campaign entitled “Don’t Stop Me Now” is offering reduced tickets in the range of £10-£50 ($13-$67) for performances throughout January and February. The sale can be accessed through the Official London Theatre website. (LINK: https://officiallondontheatre.com/new-year-sale/)
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The West End was hard hit by the new COVID-19 variant in the thick of the holiday season. New shows such as “Cabaret,” starring Jessie Buckley and Eddie Redmayne, had to cancel blocks of performances, while productions like Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cinderella” were pulled just before Christmas until February.
The “Don’t Stop Me Now” campaign has involved collaborations with the Mayor of London, Westminster City Council and various business improvement districts. Illustrating the faces of the theater workforce is a new exhibit by photographer Rankin that’s featured on railway platforms around the city as well as a Covent Garden exhibit.
“‘We are hugely grateful to all our audiences for their ongoing support. We all need the escapism that theater brings, so what better way to start 2022 than with the magic of world-class live entertainment?” said Julian Bird, chief executive of the Society of London Theatre.
“It is a true reflection of theatre’s importance that so many partners and organizations — from the Mayor of London’s Let’s Do London campaign to legendary photographer Rankin — have pulled together to help celebrate theater and the New Year Sale. As we enter 2022, we want to make it easier than ever to see a show. Please keep supporting shows to help keep curtains raised across our city and beyond.” – Manori Ravindran
Check out a promotional film for the “Don’t Stop Me Now” campaign below:
Channel 5 in the U.K. enjoyed industry-best growth in share of individuals viewing, ABC1 viewers and its free-to-air portfolio in 2021, setting the benchmark in each category for any terrestrial channel in the country, according to data from BARB (Broadcasters Audience Research Board). Building on a strong 2020, last year saw a 5% increase in viewing from 2020’s overall numbers. The company’s free-to-air digital portfolio also grew by 5%, making 2021 the best-ever year for the Channel 5 family of channels.
According to the broadcaster, drama was the key driving force behind the broadcast growth with “The Drowning” peaking at 5.1 million viewers and a 22% share early in the year, and “All Creatures Great & Small” hitting a series high of 4.4 million/21% in the fall. Documentary proved a strong contributor as well, with strong performances from royal and observational documentaries including “Kensington Palace: Behind Closed Doors” and “Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly.”
For the second consecutive year, My5, the company’s VOD platform, set a new performance mark with a 36% growth on 2020’s streams and a 31% year-on-year increase in time spent viewing, again led by “The Drowning,” the services’ best-ever performing title.
Courtesy of Ed Miller/Playground Television
Monte-Carlo Television Festival has opened the call for entries to its Golden Nymph Awards, scheduled for June 17-21. Now open, the window for submission will close on March 24 with the final official selection announced in May. Six awards will be presented from the Fiction Category, including best film, series, creation, actress, actor and a special jury prize. The fest’s News section has been revamped with the former News Coverage, News Documentary and Documentary Film categories combined into a single News & Documentaries Category with three awards up for grabs: Best news program, documentary and another special jury prize.
Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar and Nidhi Parmar Hiranandani are teaming to produce an inspirational biopic about visually impaired industrialist Srikanth Bolla to be directed by Tushar Hiranandani and produced by T-Series and Chalk N Cheese Films Production. Rajkummar Rao will star as the film’s inspiring lead protagonist who founded Bollant Industries. Born to poor, uneducated parents, Bolla breezed through India’s tenth and twelfth standard exams and became the first international blind student to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bolla’s story was adapted by writers Sumit Purohit and Jagdeep Sidhu, and the film will begin shooting in July of this year.
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