Connect with us

Entertainment

Arts go interactive during coronavirus lockdown

Published

on


the RAD's Silver SwansImage copyright
Royal Academy of Dance

Image caption

The Royal Academy of Dance’s Silver Swans, pictured before the recent restrictions

As Britain begins its second week under strict conditions restricting movements and gatherings, arts organisations are getting creative in their attempts to interact with patrons.

The Getty Museum in the US, for example, has found a novel way for art lovers to engage with its collection.

Later this week the Royal Academy of Dance is launching a weekly series of online ballet classes, specifically tailored for the over-55s.

Theatres are now closed all across the country. But that doesn’t mean theatre lovers are being denied the joys of the communal experience.

Choirmaster Gareth Malone, meanwhile, is assembling a Great British Home Chorus to get us singing together even while we are apart.

Art imitating life

Based in Los Angeles, the J Paul Getty Museum is home to works by Rembrandt, Cezanne and hundreds of other world-renowned artists.

When the museum closed to the public on 14 March, its social media team started looking for ways to keep its audience entertained.

The answer lay in a Dutch Instagram account featuring elaborate recreations of works by Frida Kahlo, Rene Magritte and others.

The Getty put its own spin on the idea, inviting its followers to recreate artworks using three things lying around their houses.

Art fans jumped at the challenge, deploying everyday items, relatives and even pets to emulate works by Monet, Warhol and others.

One participant used coffee filters to make a mock-up of a ruff worn by one of El Greco’s subjects.

Another employed a shower cap and her own baby bump to replicate Raphael’s La donna gravida.

Bread, jam and a biscuit, meanwhile, were used to fashion an edible version of The Scream that certainly puts the munch into Edvard Munch.

“We are loving all your creative recreations,” the museum tweeted, exhorting its followers to “keep sharing”.

Keep dancing

Image copyright
Royal Academy of Dance

Millions know Angela Rippon for the glamorous dance routine she performed with Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise in 1976.

Forty-four years on, the former newsreader is still championing the terpsichorean arts in her role as Royal Academy of Dance ambassador.

Since 2017, the HealthCheck UK presenter has been raising awareness for the RAD’s Silver Swans project, branded ballet classes aimed at the over-55s.

This week the RAD is putting those classes online in the hope they will encourage older audiences to “unleash their inner dancer”.

“It’s a series of exercises that anyone can do at any level, that you can do at home in a small personal space,” Rippon told BBC News.

“You’re not going to be flying across the room like Carlos Acosta – you can do most of them holding on to something solid.”

According to Rippon, though, it’s not just the body that gets a workout.

“You’re having to use your brain as well so it’s a mental as well as a physical exercise,” she explained.

“It makes you feel good physically, but it makes you feel good psychologically too.”

The first online tutorial goes online on Wednesday, with new classes released weekly over the next nine weeks.

All the world’s a stage

Image copyright
Getty Images

The closure of the UK’s theatres and performing arts venues has left the industry mired in turmoil and uncertainty.

With its base shuttered indefinitely, though, the National Theatre has decided to make some of its older productions accessible to a wider audience.

From 2 April, some productions previously screened in cinemas will be put on YouTube for theatre lovers to watch free of charge.

They include the comedy One Man, Two Guvnors starring James Corden; adaptations of the novels Jane Eyre and Treasure Island; and a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night starring Tamsin Greig.

The Hampstead Theatre in north London is also putting some of its plays online, starting this week with its 2016 staging of Mike Bartlett’s Wild.

If recent TV dramas Belgravia and The English Game haven’t sated your Julian Fellowes cravings, meanwhile, a 2017 recording of his musical version of The Wind in the Willows can also be streamed for free.

Lisa Burger, the National’s executive director, said its “varied” programme meant there would be “something for everyone to enjoy from their own homes”.

“We will be streaming each production at the same time each week in order to recreate, where possible, the communal viewing experience,” she added.

Roxana Silbert, the Hampstead’s artistic director, said its own offerings over the next three weeks would give audiences “entertainment, connection and nourishment in a time of uncertainty and isolation”.

The show, they say, must go on – something that producer Robert Myles has taken to heart.

He and a group of actors are gathering every Thursday to live stream performed readings of Shakespeare’s Complete Works.

So far they have tackled The Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Taming of the Shrew, with the first part of Henry VI to follow later this week.

Sing for your supper

Image copyright
Getty Images

Self-isolation is proving no hindrance to Gareth Malone’s new project, an online response to the nationwide closure of communal rehearsal places.

More than 160,000 people took part in the first rehearsal last week on YouTube.

“It is amazing how many people have signed up,” said Malone, promising to create something “really wonderful and inspiring”.

Those who have got involved have extolled the virtues of being part of what is now a globe-spanning venture.

“Amazing how a bit of singing lifts my spirits,” wrote one participant, while another said they were “absolutely loving the choir”.

“This is a wonderful idea,” wrote another choir member. “Thank you so much Gareth and everyone who is making this possible.”

For Angela Rippon, organisations and initiatives like the ones above are in an ideal position to appeal to a largely housebound populace.

“This is a great opportunity to reach a wider audience than they ever have before,” she said.

“Millions of us are in lockdown in our own homes and have the chance to do things we never felt we could.”





Source link

Entertainment

Bafta TV Awards: Chernobyl and The Crown among nominees

Published

on

By


Chernobyl on Sky AtlanticImage copyright
Sky UK/HBO

Image caption

Joshua Leese played Igor Kirschenbaum in Sky’s 2019 miniseries Chernobyl

Chernobyl leads the field at this year’s Bafta Television Awards, with 14 nominations.

The Sky Atlantic miniseries, which was heavily praised by critics, was based on the 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

It becomes one of the most-nominated shows in the ceremony’s history, tying with the 14 nominations Killing Eve received last year.

Netflix’s Royal drama The Crown has seven nominations in total.

Other nominees at this year’s ceremony include Fleabag and Giri/Haji – which receive six nominations each.

The top Bafta TV nominees

  • Chernobyl – 14
  • The Crown – 7
  • Fleabag – 6
  • Giri / Haji – 6
  • Bafta TV Awards: The nominations in full

The Virtues, Killing Eve, Sex Education and Top Boy have also been recognised.

Chernobyl has three nominations for the main awards and 11 for Bafta’s Craft Awards, which were revealed together.

Glenda Jackson is nominated for leading actress at the age of 84, for her performance in Elizabeth Is Missing.

Gentleman Jack star Suranne Jones and Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer are also nominated in the category, along with Samantha Morton for her performance in I Am Kirsty.

Image caption

Killing Eve’s second series has four nominations, including leading actress for Jodie Comer

The best actor nominees include Callum Turner, Jared Harris and Takehiro Hira, while Stephen Graham is recognised for his work in The Virtues.

BBC One’s The Greatest Dancer is nominated for entertainment programme, despite being cancelled after its recent second series.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Jamie Demetriou are the most-nominated individuals this year, with three nods each.

Chat show host Graham Norton and Famalam star Gbemisola Ikumelo have two individual nominations each.

A Newsnight special in which Prince Andrew was interviewed by Emily Maitlis is nominated for news coverage.

Other nominees in the category include ITV News coverage of the election results, an episode of BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire Show about knife crime, and Sky News coverage of the Hong Kong protests.

  • The Crown: Critics welcome ‘confident’ return
  • What was the must-see TV moment of the year?

The nominations for the Must See Moment category were announced earlier this week, with nods for Game of Thrones, Line of Duty and Love Island.

This year’s ceremony will be broadcast from behind closed doors after being delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Richard Ayoade will host from a closed studio and winners will give acceptance speeches virtually.

The winners will be announced on 31 July, with the ceremony broadcast on BBC One.

Image copyright
Bafta

Image caption

Richard Ayoade will present the Bafta TV Awards for the first time

In a statement, actor, presenter and writer Ayoade joked: “I am as surprised as you are that this is still going ahead.”

Bafta’s Craft Awards, meanwhile, which celebrate behind-the-scenes achievements, will be streamed on 17 July, hosted by fellow comic actor Stephen Mangan.

Categories such as writing, sound, editing and production design will be handed out at the Craft Awards, while prizes for acting and best overall series will be announced at the Bafta TV Awards.

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email





Source link

Continue Reading

Entertainment

The young actors joining an industry on pause

Published

on

By


Elliot SwannImage copyright
Elliot Swann

Image caption

Elliot Swann has been emailing audition tapes that he records at home

Elliot Swann caught his mum spying through the kitchen window as he practised ballet in their garden.

Despite still being physically closed, ArtsEd, the London-based acting conservatory where Elliot studies musical theatre, has powered on virtually since the start of the coronavirus lockdown.

Alongside classmates on Zoom meetings, Elliot, 21, drills voice practices and dance moves on the garden decking, and taps away in the bathroom of his parents’ house in Hampshire. But will there be any work for him and his fellow students after they graduate this summer?

Normally, at this time of year, acting students around the world are making their first foray into the business, performing in person for agents, casting directors and producers, hoping to sign on with a talent agency, or even pick up their first paid work.

But with theatres still closed, and TV and movie filming on hold, the acting world is currently an industry on pause.

Image copyright
ArtsEd

Image caption

ArtsEd students and teachers have carried on their classes remotely

“All of our work has stopped,” says James Calleri, who casts Broadway and regional theatre in New York as well as film and TV. “Everything has just been cleared.”

Mr Calleri, who also runs the graduate acting programme at New York’s Columbia University, would normally have taken graduating students on an industry tour of Los Angeles back in April.

They would have performed for some of the big showbiz decision makers. But all Columbia’s acting school showcases were cancelled, indefinitely.

“We were going to push to September, but the problem is that theatres are so debilitated right now,” Mr Calleri says. “They don’t even know what their life is going to be like after lockdown.”

Any auditions that are still taking place have moved to home recordings or “self tapes” that are emailed off.

Back in Hampshire, Elliot has made it though five rounds of recalls for a West End show.

“The good thing is you get a second chance,” he says. “You can watch it back, and if you want, you can do it again.”

Image copyright
James Calleri

Image caption

James Calleri says the industry has just “stopped”

Elliot’s professors are also happy to give feedback and guidance before the videos are sent out, something that would not be possible with in-person auditions.

“The [movie and TV] businesses have been moving auditions to self tapes for some time, but I think plays and musicals will head that way too, even after the virus,” says Chris Hocking, the principal of ArtsEd.

“Everyone is trying to help these graduates. We have worked hard so that the students have industry contact throughout their training.”

What continues for Elliot is a waiting game. An actor almost never receives feedback unless they win the job.

“Especially now,” he says, “because everything is extended. And many tours have had to cancel because of the lockdown.

“There is every chance you might be auditioning for a show, you could get cast, and then a couple of weeks later they’ll say, ‘I’m really sorry, it’s been cancelled.'”

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Theatres around the world are closed

Elliot knows he is lucky to be getting seen. Many new graduates are not getting any industry face-time.

Racheal Owens, a teacher at Guildford School of Acting, says their graduates were due to have a final day of performance for agents and casting directors back in March. But a day before the show, the lockdown restrictions were announced, and it was cancelled.

“Some students had signed, but others had not, and would have been hoping for more opportunities, as we had two musicals left to perform,”she says.

The staff at Guilford have continued to do everything possible to get self tapes to agents. Luckily the industry in London has been receptive, in an effort to support this year’s graduates, but there is very little work available.

“I really feel for these students, whose introduction to the industry is so compromised,” says Ms Owens.

Image copyright
Michael Carlo Photography

Image caption

Elliot Swann says he is committed to an acting career

A missed in-person performance can make life especially difficult for young actors with an offbeat style, or unusual looks, that might not come across well in a short self tape, plus resumé (CV) and headshot.

Such performers are more likely to win over agents and casting directors in person.

But even if young actors impress, however they are able to audition, how long will it be before the industry can return to some sort of normal?

James Calleri wonders how the practical experience of going to the theatre would work with social distancing.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionAbba’s Björn Ulvaeus fears for future of West End theatres

Producers might sell out a 1,200-seat Broadway theatre, but if 600 people sit in every other seat in order to socially distance, shows will fail to recoup costs, he points out. In smaller theatres, social distancing would be impossible.

“The class of 2020 is the injured party right now,” he says. “I feel like the industry knows that and hopefully will try and look out for them.”

Global Trade

More from the BBC’s series taking an international perspective on trade:

Alex Butler, who runs the New York boutique agency Henderson Hogan, warns his recent signings that things aren’t going to get better overnight.

“I told them, ‘Look, if you are in this for the long haul, come to the city, get your apartment, your day job and your classes set up. Once things go back, we can gear up.'”

But it could be a long wait. Mr Butler says he would love for Broadway to reopen in September but fears curtains may not rise until next year.

Still, he thinks that sometime down the road, if young actors coming out of school this year can hold tight, there will be opportunities to audition for these shows.

“People working on Broadway might decide they are done with the business, or if they are touring, their spouses won’t want them to go on the road anymore,” he says.

New York casting director Alison Franck, who casts Broadway, touring and regional musical theatre shows, says that actors have always needed to be creative and resilient. Those attributes are needed now more than ever, because many will struggle to get agents straight away.

Image copyright
J Demetrie

Image caption

Alison Franck says that young actors now have to be more resilient than ever

“These actors have to learn how to hustle on their own,” she says. “And I think the ones who figure this out may often end up being more successful in the long run.”

Elliot understands how hard the current situation is, but he is ready to dig in. He believes the industry will come back “stronger than ever”.

Acting has been his dream for his whole life.

“I’m absolutely in it for the long haul,” he says.



Source link

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Bafta TV Awards: Fleabag and Game of Thrones up for ‘must-see moment’

Published

on

By


Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag and Game of Thrones' Night KingImage copyright
BBC/HBO

Image caption

Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag and Game of Thrones’ Night King

Memorable sequences from Fleabag, Game of Thrones and Line of Duty are in contention for the “must-see moment” prize at this year’s Bafta TV Awards.

Scenes from Coronation Street, Love Island and the Christmas Day Gavin and Stacey special are also in the running.

Television viewers have until 15 July to cast their vote for the only Bafta TV award decided by the public.

This year’s awards will be broadcast from behind closed doors on 31 July due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Ayoade to host socially-distanced TV Baftas

Richard Ayoade will host the event from a closed studio, with winners giving their acceptance speeches virtually.

The rest of this year’s nominations will be announced on Thursday morning.

Last year’s prize went to BBC One’s Bodyguard for the scene in which Keeley Hawes’ Julia Montague character was assassinated.

Writer Caitlin Moran, who helped compile this year’s shortlist, said the award was for moments “that truly made everyone gasp”.

WARNING: The following reveals plot details about shows you may not yet have had the chance to watch.

1. Coronation Street

Corrie viewers were in bits last October when Sinead Osbourne lost her year-long fight against cervical cancer, quietly slipping away while husband Daniel read to their baby son Bertie.

Katie McGlynn’s performance in the role won her a National TV Award in January, which she dedicated to “any woman who is going through cervical cancer right now”.

If you’re wondering, the book Daniel is reading is We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen.

2. Fleabag

The moment when Andrew Scott’s “Hot Priest” told Phoebe Waller-Bridge to kneel after she seeks advice in his confessional had thousands of Fleabag fans genuflecting in their living rooms.

“When that priest said ‘kneel’ my vagina exploded in a way a man has never quite been able to achieve,” wrote comedian London Hughes on Twitter.

“That scene is extraordinary, isn’t it?” Scott told the New York Times in May last year. “Phoebe’s really not afraid of the grand gesture.”

3. Gavin and Stacey

There was more kneeling in the Gavin and Stacey Christmas Day special when Nessa (Ruth Jones) got down on hers to pop the question to James Corden’s dumbfounded Smithy.

“When I put my hand on my heart and I said, as Nessa, ‘I love you. No, I do, I loves you with all my heart’ I really meant it,” Jones told the Mirror about the cliffhanger moment, which was filmed in the middle of the night in order to keep the proposal secret.

4. Game of Thrones

After eight seasons and nine years, the final episodes of Game of Thrones were bound to split opinion. Yet everyone seemed to love the moment when Arya Stark killed the Night King with a single dagger thrust.

“Huge thank you to the writers of #GOT for making little Arya Stark the biggest badass EVER!” tweeted one impressed viewer after the episode in question aired in April last year.

“It was so unbelievably exciting,” Maisie Williams said of her character’s most iconic moment. “It’s also unexpected and that’s what this show does.”

The British actress was told a year before filming to get her endurance levels prepared for her big scene.

5. Line of Duty

Image caption

Graham was seen with and without a balaclava in Line of Duty

An even more shocking slaying came during the fifth series of Line of Duty when undercover policeman John Corbett had his throat cut by one of his criminal accomplices.

Like the other nominees, the video clip is available to watch online but features graphic content.

“I thought it was superb,” said actor Stephen Graham of a jaw-dropping exit few fans of the BBC One drama had seen coming. “I’m good at dying.”

Filming on the sixth series of Line of Duty was suspended in March due to the spread of the coronavirus.

6. Love Island

The only non-scripted nominee on this year’s shortlist comes from ITV2’s Love Island, which was rocked earlier this year by the suicide of presenter Caroline Flack.

The nominated moment comes from the episode shown last July in which contestant Michael Griffiths chose to “recouple” with Joanna Chimonides and leave Amber Gill single.

Beauty therapist Amber had the last laugh though, eventually being crowned winner of the series alongside Irish rugby player Greg O’Shea.

ITV2 will screen the first series of Love Island: Australia this summer in place of the regular programme, which will not return until 2021.

Details on how to vote for the Virgin Media Must-See Moment award can be found here.

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending