The News That Didn’t Make It: Episode 16

Each week, our #StageDoorLive News Writer / Researcher Hillary Dziminski chronicles her interaction with the news of the week. This week… ACI Next Generation Award, Una Mullally on PUP, and Artist Saul Fletcher.
Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

Each week, our #StageDoorLive News Writer / Researcher Hillary Dziminski chronicles her interaction with the news of the week. Some of it that made it to the show, and other bits that didn’t… but they matter damn it. Watch the news that did make it in #StageDoorLive Episode Sixteen.

Good morning, world. Disclaimer: I am a bit of a mess while writing this thanks to the finale of Season 6 of the Vampire Diaries, so be gentle with me today. And to paraphrase my wonderful friend, Aoife Spillane Hinks, who appeared on last night’s episode: I can like what I like, don’t @ me. Now, I’ll put aside my deep grief for fictional, supernatural characters to take a look at the headlines that didn’t make it on to last night’s show.

Saul Fletcher.

Artist Saul Fletcher Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide

I want to start off with this one because it’s not theatre related but it is scandalous! So Saul Fletcher was a Berlin-based artist who was known for his “evocative, slightly macabre, sometimes overly precious” photography. Apparently, he had confessed to killing a woman and then police turned up at his apartment and found Rebeccah Blum – a freelance curator – stabbed to death. Then a few hours later, Fletcher himself was found dead in the garden of his lake house a few hours away. Very tragic, indeed.

Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD. Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

Una Mullally: PUP changes – equal parts stupid and vindictive

Now, again, not strictly theatre related, but very relevant considering the sector has been essentially obliterated and most of us are now living that old cliche of ‘starving artist’. Which is not funny (or romantic), to be clear, I just need to be a little bit callous as a coping mechanism so I don’t fall into a pit of despair. Una Mullally (my journalistic hero) says what I’ve been failing to articulate in my own head for a few weeks now:

We cannot expect cinematographers, actors, camera-operators, riggers, lighting and set designers, and so on, to chuck in a lifetime of training, skills and expertise, and look for jobs sweeping floors or selling chips. That’s not because those jobs are below those people, but it’s not their profession. They have not lost their jobs. They have not quit their work. They are waiting for their sectors to restart. 

And that’s just it. I, like so many others, am just in stasis, waiting for the revival of a decimated sector while my mental health nose dives, my finances implode, and the little voice in my head alternately screams and whimpers, ‘What am I gonna do?’ Anyway. [/endrant]

Supplementary reading on this subject that I can’t summarise for you because it hurts me to keep reading all of this:
Irish Times, Letter to the Editor: Live events, culture and financial support
The Times: Sam Mendes: We must open our theatres without social distancing — or risk disaster
The Guardian: ‘Theatres save lives – this is where you give blood, vote and cry’

Oliver Dowden giving a coronavirus briefing in May. Photo: Andrew Parsons/No 10 Downing St

Dowden: No date for full theatre reopenings before November

One of the things that UK artists and venues have been particularly vocal about is their frustration over a complete lack of clarity on when they can expect to have guidance on when indoor performances can resume. Well, after a lot of pressure from the industry — including Andrew Lloyd Weber — the finally have an answer! And the answer is (drum roll please)… ‘we’ll think about it in November’. Now, I understand that it is impossible to pinpoint an exact or even approximate date for when it’ll be safe to gather indoors again, but surely a target would be manageable? You know, like, a comprehensive plan of action with goals that would at least allow programmers to try to get some proverbial balls rolling? Maybe not. What do I know.

Their headshots attended a special, socially-distanced announcement w/ Min.
Catherine Martin, Arts Council Director Maureen Kennelly, & Arts Council Chair
Kevin Rafter.

Arts Council’s Next Generation Award sees 23 Artists receive €20,000

In happier news, congratulations to the Next Generation bursary recipients. You might even recognise some names from previous episodes of Stage Door Live! Well done, everyone, I can’t wait to see what brilliant ideas are bouncing around in those gorgeous heads.

The new space for music and performance in Springburn Park. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod/The Guardian

New Glasgow theatre space made entirely of recycled pianos in UK first

More positive news – THIS IS AMAZING! One thing that has really helped me stay…if not positive then at least not completely depressed, it’s seeing some serious feats of imagination and innovation pop up across the world. Approximately 40 pianos were dismantled to create tiered seating for this permanent performance space in Glasgow’s Springburn Park. Adding this to my list of places I must attend a performance at least once before I die.

Emmys, not surprisingly, abandon in-person gathering for virtual ceremony due to pandemic

Again, not strictly theatre related but since we mentioned the Emmys on last night’s episode, I’ll allow it. Though, I may only be allowing it so I can feature the hilarious (and kinda heartbreaking) Tweet from Anne Costello pictured above. Good on you, Anne. Go for the jugular.

I think that’s all I have in me this week, friends. For this week’s Accomplice Appendix, I want to do things a little differently. Part of being a good ally to others is taking care of yourself. It’s difficult to advocate for others if you can’t get out of bed. So please find below some helpful links for any of you who might be struggling and needing someone to talk to.

Arts Minds – UK
Minding Creative Minds – Ireland
Samaritans – Ireland
You can also call the Samaritans 24/7, 365 days a year on 116 123
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