Colors: Red Color

The Birmingham Hippodrome has announced that it will continue to remain closed until November.

The impact of Covid-19 has been devastating for the theatre and live entertainment industries in the UK especially for charitable organisations like the Birmingham Hippodrome who do not receive any regular revenue subsidy with almost all of its income coming from the sales of tickets for productions.

And, as such, they currently have no revenue income.

The city’s leading theatre venue was set to stage some of the leading blockbuster productions including Sister Act, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Hairspray, but will now, not be rescheduled until the reopening, which in turn is not due until November 2 at the earliest.

With it being closed since March means that it, like all other theatres, is out of pocket as their income is totally driven by ticket sales.

A statement on their website also said: “Almost all of our income from sales of tickets for our productions, so we currently have no revenue stream.

“We are working with the government bodies and other UK venues to explore ways we can reopen safely, but whilst social distancing measures are still in place, we must remain closed for the foreseeable future”.

The team are currently dealing with a high volume of bookings, and are asking all ticket holders to avoid contacting Birmingham Hippodrome directly to minimise their huge number of incoming enquires.

Actor John Boyega delivered an uncompromising message against racism after fielding praise and backlash for Twitter posts about the subject.

The Star Wars star posted about his hate of racism following the death of an unarmed Black man in police custody in the USA.

He added: “WHITE on BLACK racism” had “ruined the world”, which sparked responses about other forms of racism.

He later doubled down against “racist white people” in an Instagram live.

His initial anger was sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, in the USA, who was shown in a video to be groaning “I can’t breathe” as a police officer knelt on his neck.

Boyega tweeted his hatred of racist before he replied to a Nigerian man who said that he broke up with his girlfriend because she was racist against white people.

The Hollywood actor replied: “I am talking about WHITE on BLACK racism. The kind that has ruined the world not caused a lil break up with your girlfriend.”

In the Instagram live, he then explained: “There’s no way that I have the opinion that there’s no other form of racism. Of course there’re other forms of racism.

“But a Black man was just murdered in cold blood in the streets Stateside again, while saying he can’t breathe.

The Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, immediately called for charges against the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck.

In a press conference the highly emotional Mayor said: “Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?

“If you had done it, or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now”.

He (Mayor Frey) did not specify what the charge should be at the time, but he said that his determination was based on video of the incident.

Born in London, of Nigerian parents, Boyega said: “That is a continuous cycle going on.

“Although I don’t live in the States, I am Black.”

“We are not sure why he is being arrested”.

A white reporter who was also reporting at the scene was not arrested.

During the international media coverage of events in Minneapolis, CNN reporter, Omar Jimenez was cuffed by policemen as he was reporting live about the violence which erupted following Floyd’s death while a cameraman filmed the scene. A colleague commenting from CNN studios was heard saying: “If you’re just tuning in, you are watching our correspondent, Omar Jimenez, being arrested in Minnesota – despite identifying himself and asking why he was being arrested.

Singing legend Robbie Williams is to make a brief comeback and rejoin Take That for a virtual as-live gig on the evening of Friday June 5.

The online charity concert will see the 46-year-old and his ex-bandmates Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen each perform from their own respective homes, due to the coronavirus lockdown.

A bit like the current work morning meeting, but with added 90s hits.

It is the first time that Williams has performed with the band since the X Factor final in 2018.

It also means that only Jason Orange is the only original member who is missing from the Take That line-up, which released its debut album ‘Take That and Party’ almost 30-years ago.

Williams said: “I’m looking forward to performing with the lads again.

“If we can’t get to the stadium… we’ll bring the stadium to us”.

Ministry of Sound Classical have today released a special video in collaboration with Alexandra Burke, the London Concert Orchestra and NHS Choir to give thanks to the incredible work of the key workers.  Their cover of Olive’s 1997 classic ‘You’re Not Alone’, with it’s poignant, hopeful lyrics and combined with a purely symphonic arrangement, encapsulates what is currently a testing time for us all.  
 
This month, Ministry of Sound Classical, a 50-piece orchestral show, with the London Concert Orchestra was due to perform at the Royal Albert Hall by arrangement with Coalition Agency and promoters Raymond Gubbay Limited.  As these epic landmark performances for this show was forced to cancel due to COVID-19, it was collectively decided by the performers to create a video to show appreciation and say "thank you" to key workers, specifically our incredible NHS here in the UK. The video has now premiered on Ministry of Sounds YouTube Channel, with a donate link available for those who have enjoyed the track to support NHS Charities Together if they are able.  
 
Alexandra Burke is a supporter of the NHS Charities Together and was due to perform as a very special guest at Ministry of Sound Classical at the Royal Albert Hall, so was the perfect choice of vocalist for this very special project. Ministry of Sound Classical is overjoyed for the video to include the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir, having been invited to perform on the track by Alexandra. 
 
All musicians filmed and recorded their individual parts from the safety of their own homes.  The music arrangement and guide audio track was prepared by the live shows sound engineer Phil Wright and orchestral arrangers Robin Hoffman and Tom Player. 

This year’s Bafta Television Awards will be broadcast from behind closed doors after originally being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The honours are usually handed out at a glittering ceremony which is attended by the biggest television stars in the UK.

But this year, Richard Ayoade will host the event from a closed studio with the winners to give their acceptance speeches virtually.

The event had been scheduled to take place on May 17, but it will now happen on June 31.

With nominations being announced, the qualification dates for the programmes have remained the same.

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

While many of this year’s major film and television awards – including the Oscars, Bafta Film Awards and the National Television Awards – took place before the virus began to wreak havoc throughout the world.

 

Pop stars including Rag 'N' Bone Man, Roachford and Joy Crookes have all taken socially-distanced doorstep portraits, as they tell the BBC how they've been surviving the lockdown.

Spice Girl Mel C posed with her laptop and headphones, saying they've been "my window to the world" while isolating.

Rapper Raxstar held a framed photo of his cousin and uncle, both of whom died after contracting coronavirus.

He said: "Losing them has been a big blow to our whole family.

"I want to keep their memories and spirits alive in everything I do going forward."

While most of the artists said they'd continued making new music during the lockdown, others have been inspired to pursue new ideas.

Soul singer Ray BLK has discovered a hidden talent for nail art.

"As I haven't been able to go to the nail shop to get my nails done, I have people making custom nails, and I thought: 'This is so amazing being able to have all these great designs, and being able to do them myself at home.'

"It's been quite cool discovering new things."

Dance act Georgia, meanwhile, dragged a vintage kit of 1980s synth-drums onto her front porch, after setting up a virtual drumming circle to help her pass the time.

"We started a project called Grooves in Different Rooms, which hopefully I'm going to livestream on my Instagram soon," she said.

"It's going to be 20 different drummers positioned around the UK, some even in Europe, and we will livestream a jam."

Other artists who took part in the project included Tom Walker, Beverley Knight and Celina Sharma.