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  1. Could have been worse than Dorries; for 30 minutes this afternoon I thought Michael Gove was going to get the Culture brief. Having said that Dorries is not a fan of the BBC (apparently she's one of those Tories that thinks it's a leftie paradise) which does not bode well for the BBC or Channel 4 (which no doubt will be fast tracked for privatisation).
  2. The first two are definitely JM Carreno & the other one is either Bruce Sansom or possibly Stuart Cassidy?
  3. Emma Raducanu's performance against Sara Sorribes Tormo in her 3rd round match was amazing - 60 61 in 69 minutes & a possible 4th round match with Ash Barty - talk about living the dream! I'm exhausted from cheering at my laptop!!
  4. I was gutted to see Charlie Watts died yesterday as I spent a lot of 2020 rediscovering the Rolling Stones during lockdown & their music helped get me through. I'm listening to Hate to See You Go & Midnight Rambler right now & Charlie's contribution is just distinguished perfection with an irresistible swing. Rest easy Charlie & condolences to family & remaining Stones.
  5. It's release is edging closer though as my copy of the Literary Review (August) magazine arrived this morning containing a review (well more of a tribute actually) of Crisp's writings by Rupert Christiansen & it sounds like there's quite a variety of his reviews covering various companies, dancers & choreographers. The review is sadly mostly behind the website's paywall, but Christiansen's description of the contents should satisfy most ballet fans appetite for Crisp's insightful & deliciously nuanced writing. I'm looking forward especially to reading anything pre-1992 as after that I've read almost everything he's written & I'm hoping to be able to recycle some of the newspaper cuttings I've accumulated since then.
  6. The ex-RB dancer & noted MacMillan interpreter Leanne Benjamin also has a book coming out later this year (November I think) written in conjunction with Sarah Crompton about her lengthy career which I think should be fascinating. It's called Leanne Benjamin; Built for Ballet & is priced at £35 for a pre-order hardback. Definitely one for the xmas list I think.
  7. She's been doing A-levels at Newstead Wood school this summer; that's 10 minutes down the road from me! I have cleared my schedule to watch her tomorrow against Soraya Cirstea on court 1 & I think she can win it!
  8. I was very impressed by Brit Emma Raducanu winning her match decisively in 2 sets. I hadn't seen or heard of her before, but will be looking out for her in her next match. Overall, much tennis to enjoy today & most of my personal favourites won through. Was surprised at how full Centre Court appeared & very little mask wearing was being done (I've only had 1 jab so not tempted to try my luck despite wanting to be there).
  9. I'm very sorry to hear she's leaving the RB, but thrilled for her that she's off to Stanford. I've always loved her dancing & I think the first time I saw her was when she danced with Chris Wheeldon's company at Sadlers Wells - obviously he knew a great dancer when he saw her! Since then she's shone in everything I've seen her dance & I'm gutted at the thought I won't be seeing her dance again.
  10. Jacqueline Clark I believe. Congratulations to her & the others. I hope it's not too many years before we see the Australian Ballet in London again.
  11. Hi Kate, Then that's even worse than I thought as that is not an acceptable timeframe for considered responses from affected groups. My degree is actually in Public Policy & did my dissertation on the (positive) financial value of the arts to local economies (Birmingham in the 2000s), but I opted not to work professionally in a policy role as it used to be a very dry specialism. Skim reading the document last night actually made me very angry if this is what passes for a 'consultation' these days. Decisions have clearly already been made & this is very much a rubber stamp consultation period where feedback is not wanted & will probably end up in the shredder. It is very frustrating that this government cannot seem to see the value of investing in young people to equip them with the necessary skills to enable them to work in the creative industries which contribute so massively to the economy or more likely it just doesn't care. I suspect a closer reading this weekend & a study of the supporting docs will red flag several other areas of concern (a couple of the footnotes had me busy with the highlighter pen).
  12. What a disappointment! I haven't been able to book ROH tickets as my first jab is next Monday & 2nd not until 20th July so I'm not risking myself or others before then. However, I received a lovely email from the Young Vic theatre BO several weeks ago reallocating me a seat for their delayed production of Cush Jumbo's Hamlet at the end of July - a single seat (upgraded from the original price bracket because of distancing) - so theatres can treat their customers well if they choose & generate good will (the Bridge Theatre has also done this). I know ROH is X times bigger & more complex, but not to cater at all for single attendees is not the way to treat loyal supporters, let alone Friends members. I gave up my Friends membership a few years ago when an especially high round of seat ticket prices for limited view seats irked me beyond endurance tied in with changes to tickets for Friend's events made clear people not prepared to fork out large sums of money were increasingly less welcome & less tolerated (I should that since 1992 some years I have been to 50 plus performances & depending on the show I buy single tickets across all tiers & prices). I have missed ballet in the last year, but not at any price!
  13. Hmm, I wondered that as well, but then elsewhere it mentioned that journalism & related courses were included; a cynic might say that's to ensure that the supply of well trained investigative reporters is smothered... The consultation document makes for very depressing reading; clearly 'expensive' courses in the arts (covering dance, drama, music, media studies & erm archaeology) are in for devastating cuts in the near future (politically I don't find this very surprising as most Conservative politicians are very interested in making the arts financially support itself or lose it if it doesn't). It is very disappointing that this has not received broader publicity since March 26th as I would have written to my MP & contributed to the consultation, but the period closes tomorrow (6th). I also disagree with the removal of the London weighting & the lack of realistic replacement for the Erasmus exchange scheme. Overall, it would seem that the number of institutions, students & courses are going to be squeezed & inevitably it will mean students from modest backgrounds could be priced out of the courses that do survive & what employment prospects might exist in 5-10 years time is anyone's guess.
  14. It's poor publicity for ROH again though, especially when ex-Chancellor George Osbourne's name was bandied about as a possible replacement. I can't say I would be in favour of his appointment given the current atmosphere of cronyism & sleaze within the Conservative government & another chum being placed at ROH might be ill-timed.
  15. Wow, that's awesome & so useful especially looking at replacement casts & combinations in ballets that I missed. Remarkable use of your time Dan - I feel guilty for not having used my time more creatively!
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