Author Archive

Michael Billington

Michael Billington: “We are in a situation like that in a Shakespeare history play, where messengers arrive hourly with bad news from all ends of the kingdom. The Nuffield Southampton, which combines a new city centre theatre with a longstanding campus playhouse, is closing, with 86 roles made redundant. The Theatre Royal Plymouth has made its entire artistic team redundant and the Royal Exchange Manchester may have to make 65% of its staff redundant. The story is much the same wherever you look, be it Birmingham, Norwich or Perth. Even the big, seemingly well-protected institutions are not immune: the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, was reported to be facing closure. So what are you and your team at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport doing to reassure the arts community and provide a concrete plan of action? Well so far you have come up with a five-phase roadmap for the performing arts that is worse than useless. Sam Goldwyn said that ‘a verbal agreement isn’t worth the paper it’s written on’ and a roadmap that offers no clue as to how to get to one’s destination is positively insulting.”

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams: “All I can say is that I’m sorry. It’s that simple. This period of isolation and reflection made me realize that I needed to make significant changes in my life. I know full well that any apology from me probably won’t be accepted by those I’ve hurt. I get that and I also understand that there’s no going back. To a lot of people this will just seem like the same empty bullshit apology that I’ve always used when I was called out, and all I can say is, this time it is different. There is no way to convince people that this time is truly different, but this is the albatross that I deserve to carry with me as a result of my actions. I made a promise to myself that no matter what it took, I would get to the root of these issues and finally start to fix myself so I could be a better friend, a better partner, and a better man overall.  I will never be off the hook and I am fully accountable for my harmful behavior, and will be for my actions moving forward. In my effort to be a better man, I have fought to get sober, but this time I’m doing it with professional help. Sobriety is a priority in my life, and so is my mental health. These, as I’m learning, go hand in hand. But I will not bore anyone with stories of my demons or use them to excuse what I’ve done… Some of these [new] songs are angry, many are sad but most of them are about the lessons I’ve learned over the last few years. Those ones an expression of my deepest remorse.”

Nonfiction Fllmmaker Kevin Rafferty

Nonfiction Fllmmaker Kevin Rafferty Was 73; Films Include Blood In The Face and Atomic Cafe


“The Canadian film industry can feel like a cycle that relies too much on mediocre gatekeepers who aren’t held accountable (mainly due to a general indifference for Canadian cinema), and whose mediocrity only ensures people don’t need to pay attention to Canadian film”

Pavan Moondi⁦: ‬⁩”Hi it’s the beginning of July which means another fresh Telefilm Canada rejection is in and I can stop biting my tongue. Gather ’round, pals! This one is long but I think, necessary, even if I am blacklisted (in Canada, at least).”

Chris Jones: “Why have Chicago’s for-profit

Chris Jones: “Why have Chicago’s for-profit institutions been so hit? The main reason is their total revenue dependence. A big non-profit potentially can rely on its board members to bankroll it through these hard times, or can sweet talk its big donors. In some rare cases, endowments can be tapped. But that’s not true of for-profit theaters, entirely reliant on ticket sales, bar takings and concessions for their survival. The longer the prolonged closure, the more devastating the impact. And very few of these operations in Chicago float a lot of cash. It’s worrying. No disrespect, but Chicago doesn’t want to look like every other Midwestern downtown, circa 1980.”

“How The Black Death Made The Rich Richer”

“How The Black Death Made The Rich Richer”

Return to Cinema

“There is extreme caution on both sides: the public is uncertain how safe it is to return to cinemas; the industry is uncertain how many of them will come, what to give them, and how much money it can make. The movie business is a gamble at the best of times; right now the odds are unfathomable. The balance between factors such as public safety concerns, pent-up demand, limited competition, overall economic conditions, and interest in specific movie titles is simply not quantifiable. Whoever goes first is really going to be jumping in.”

British Actor Earl Cameron

Bermudian-British Actor Earl Cameron, 102, Was In Inception, Pool Of London, Thunderball

Mel and Dustin

“Throughout the years, Mel Gibson’s career has been riddled with accusations of anti-Semitism, homophobia, racism and domestic violence. Gibson’s team was informed he would not be asked back for ‘Chicken Run 2’ long before Ryder’s comments, since the sequel will revolve around younger chickens, therefore casting younger voice actors.”

Dustin Hoffman to Star in ‘Our Town’ on Broadway In 2021

Peter Gelb On The Met’s Strategies For Survival

Peter Gelb On The Met’s Strategies For Survival

Crikey Rush

Crikey Longforms: “This story is about reckless journalism. About one desperate Murdoch newspaper that sacrificed tried-and-true practice to grab a scoop. About the damage inflicted on two people, their families and friends by that scoop, the subsequent defamation trial and the newspaper’s failed appeal. About how this reckless act set back the Me Too movement in Australia and tarnished an industry dedicated to telling the truth. This story is not about judging the actions of Geoffrey Rush. We are telling this story — in this way — to reveal what happens when journalism gets it wrong. Very wrong. Welcome to Geoffrey Rush: Trial by Media.”

“Three Federal Court judges ruled that articles published by Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper in 2017 conveyed the imputation that Rush was a pervert and that the trial judge had correctly included the actor’s loss of earnings in calculating damages” of $A2.9 million”

“Imagine a Hollywood production. The cast and crew may run to 200 people. So on day one, the health and safety supervisor, manager and an assistant will test everyone. The tests cost at least $150 each and there is a one-hour turnaround for the result. If a test takes 10 minutes, one person can do six of them in an hour. Three people can do 18, maybe 20. Without stopping for lunch, it will take 10 hours to test the entire cast and crew, and another hour to receive the last batch of results. Reports of the death of the film industry have been greatly exaggerated Kristin M Burke Read more So the first day of the shoot is devoted to testing rather than shooting the film. In order to minimize the delay, the production may opt to test everyone on Saturday or Sunday rather than Monday – day zero rather than day one. For California, the producers’ plan must specify how often they intend to test: daily, bi-weekly, or weekly? Since the test is invasive, time-consuming and costly, most productions will presumably want to limit testing.”

Pride catastrophe

“Meanwhile, elsewhere, outside, beyond David Lynch’s fortress, outside of isolation, catastrophe mounts. Which catastrophe? Which plague? Pick a plague, pick any plague. I will now leave out so many. I started on the back of some index cards, keep it simple, make it stark, what challenges are there for the movie industry, not the ragged rattling of the entire American enterprise, let’s stay to just the big machine that’s choked and stopped, the system of making movies, showing movies, proffering parable and allegory and wish fulfillment, improving on representation, increasing diversity, but all the while getting lost in the intangible specifics of vast, reflected dreams? Make your own succession of thousand-word lists, the end of the world as we know it in a succession of threaded tweets. This world tears a deck of index cards into shreds, drains Sharpie after Sharpie.”

Dr. Pat Soon-Shiong

Dr. Pat Soon-Shiong: We will do everything in our power to end racism at the LA Times. Black Lives Matter. This is a self- evident truth. Black lives are vital. Black lives are beloved.”

Ryuichi Sakamoto: ‘To create something is a strange thing to do’

Ryuichi Sakamoto: ‘To create something is a strange thing to do’

Donna Murphy

Donna Murphy: “Dear @NYGovCuomo & @NYCMayor. The NYC theatre community is 100% without work till January 2021 at the earliest. Actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers—we collectively bring in BILLIONS of tourist $$$. PLEASE give us PUA in order to survive until we are able to return to our jobs.”

English Theater

England’s National Theatre Emails 400 Staff: You’re Fired Come End Of August

“It’s mad how this country advertises itself around the world with Shakespeare, The Beatles, Charles Dickens, The Rolling Stones, Glastonbury, the West End, the Edinburgh Fringe, Britpop, Spice Girls, Madchester, etc, but couldn’t give a fuck about the arts when they’re in trouble”

“Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre is closing for good. Sixty years of investment, training & serving its community. All profitable in normal times, just needed shortfall funding while closed & it didn’t come in time. So sorry to the 86 made redundant, & the locals who loved their theatre”


A. S. Hamrah: “Cinema does not currently exist, or if it does exist, it’s in the form of videos from the Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality, shot on smartphones and put on Twitter, which viewers can watch from anywhere. These videos, hundreds of them from all over the United States, record rioting police officers dressed in warzone military gear lashing out at peaceful protesters, beating them with batons, shooting them with rubber bullets, firing tear gas canisters in their faces, and plowing into them with police cars and trucks…”

How did it come to this

“How did it come to this? How did much of the work we count as essential become ill-rewarded and precarious? And what has economic polarisation done to the way our societies and politics function? These are questions that we are forced to confront. “

Bay Bird

“After the Michael Bay-produced pandemic thriller Songbird was hit with a “Do Not Work” notice by SAG-AFTRA, producers appeared to have resolved its issue with the performers union, which rescinded the order on July 2.”