Using AI to reduce the carbon footprint of touring

Just as travelling is one of the most carbon-intensive aspects of life, the travel and transport associated with touring shows is a major contributor to the carbon footprint of the performing arts industries. So when I recently came across an AI tool which was used by North America 2026 in their successful bid for the …

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Review: Alys, Always

The Bridge Theatre Since opening in October 2017 The Bridge has hosted seven productions by the new London Theatre Company, the latest being a new stage adaptation of Harriet Lane's book Alys, Always. The book (I understand from synopses although - disclaimer - I've not read it) tells the story of Frances the Newspaper Sub-Editor who, caught …

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What’s the point in Reconstructed Theatres?

I'm currently helping to design a theatre in Knowsley, near Liverpool. It's a reconstruction of one of the earliest-recorded indoor theatres in the UK, the 16th-17th century Cockpit-In-Court. The working title is Shakespeare North and it's a fascinating project. I've enjoyed learning about what we know (answer: very little) and what we need to speculate …

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Why we build venues – why are all the people missing and do critics care?

A few days ago, whilst working on a building design, I was reminded of a previously forgotten memory of going to Sunday school as a child, and being taught that a church is a group of people - not a building. This is, of course, an adage that can be said of any building that …

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Review: The Whirligig

Pershing Square Signature Center, Alice Griffin Theatre The Signature Centre produces new writing. Their latest piece The Whirligig by recently-turned-playwright Hamish Linklater takes its name from a line in Twelfth Night: "The whirligig of time brings in his revenges". What goes around comes around, in modern language. And quite literally so - Derek McLane's design sits …

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Has pre-vis software led to more hazy lighting designs?

It's a question that another delegate mused at me at Showlight conference a couple of weeks ago. Lots of speakers at the conference talked about shows or events they'd lit, and some included images from their pre-visualisation work - before cutting to actual production shots that looked very similar. Very similar. Actually, in some cases it …

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