Friday, 19 April, 2013
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Welcome to our weekly take on some, all or none of the news covering the wide world of dance, the arts and culture that you may or may not be completely uninterested in.
Sometimes, here in TheLab™, we get the feeling that we're fighting the good fight all on our own, especially when it comes to the Big Bad (Arts Council England). On occasion though somebody comes out of the woodwork and puts the boot in where it desperately needs to be put.
Step forward David Lister, journo for The Independent, taking a hefty swing at ACE and their new Chairman Peter Bazalgette. When covering the anointed ones debut speech in front of a not at all hostile audience in London Mr Lister says;
"But let us not completely ignore such an important event. My appetite for the lecture was whetted by the fact that, only a few days before, a story broke in the press of how the Council, while cutting grants to hard-pressed arts organisations, was giving some of its own staff taking redundancy six-month paid sabbaticals to sweeten the pill. I'd have been interested to learn how Mr Bazalgette defended such a seemingly outrageous use of public money. But curiously he failed even to mention it."
He goes on to call out ACE for being too secretive, completely inept and a little bit corrupt. They also may be in league with the devil, but that's just our opinion.
More of this we say, more more more!
For those of you paying attention the tale of the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton is a long story of indifference, stupidity and bad policy. It has also become completely ridiculous.
The one remaining public body that wants to see the theatre survive, backing up that determination with money, is Taunton Borough Council in........... Taunton, which is in Somerset.
For the latest twist in this long tale The Stage brings us news that the council is seeking to "safeguard" the theatre from something or other.
Sadly this does not mean they are shipping the whole thing off to Helms Deep and the fortress Aglarond where they can fight to the death with thousands of Orcs in a bloody, but very well filmed and edited, battle to the end. (that's a pop culture reference, stop watching Doctor "who" Who already!)
No, what they are going to do is this;
"The council currently owns the freehold for the site and is looking to secure the remaining 61-year lease."
Securing a lease? That's some sexy stuff right there, this is why we work in the arts ladies and gentleman!
So there you have it. Tune in next week to find out if the theatre will be saved and will Melissa really end up with Trey or will she stab him in the back (literally) and take off with Shep and who is the father of baby Drax, is it Trax or Flax McGruder the Portuguese shipping magnet who really should attract tin cans more than women? (I think you mean "magnate"! Ed!)
Finally we have a tale from The Twitter. This week saw the launch of the new(ish) funding scheme by the National Funding Scheme called "Donate".
The arts folk, ever quick to be mesmerised by anything with a logo, proclaimed it to be the most awesome thing ever. This includes Stephen Fry, writer and alleged comedian, who, given the opportunity, would comment on the opening of a can of soup.
As we pointed out however the more you use "Donate" to give money to the arts, the less money they will actually get compared to rival online donation services that have been doing this type of thing for years!
Even more hilariously, depending on your point of view, is an uncredited piece in the Economist that mentions the NFS as an "innovator" in the field without bothering to look at any of the numbers
Just another week in the arts people.
Have a good weekend.