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The Power of Ten - A New Turn(er) of Events

When it was announced that this year’s Turner Prize would not be taking place in its usual form, it marked the latest evolution of one of the UK’s most well-known art awards. The change was done out of necessity, with the award’s usual accompanying exhibition of the four short-listees cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Rather than drop out of view completely, this prompted the decision by this year’s Turner jury to give ten bursaries of £10,000 to ten long-listed artists rather than £25,000 to an outright winner and £5,000 apiece to three runners-up.
However necessary, such a lateral leap nevertheless makes quite a statement, both about collective action over the cult of individualism, as well as the Turner’s own chameleon-like tendencies and willingness to move with the times.
This follows on from the 2019 award, when the four short-listees requested that they share the award between them rather than sanction a sole winner. This show of unity between the disparate quartet…
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Yay Us! - Reasons to be Cheerful: Further Adventures in the (Online) Screen-Trade

A couple of weeks ago, I watched an online broadcast of Reasons to be Cheerful, a street-smart musical based around the songs of the late Ian Dury. I’d been asked to review it for a radio programme, and is one of the few online theatre streams I’ve watched, preferring to remain stubbornly puritanical about the sanctity of the live experience over a diluted onscreen one. I’d seen the original stage production of Paul Sirett’s play presented by Graeae Theatre Company back in 2012 when it toured to Dundee, and this revival had been filmed in front of a live audience at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East.
This was a fitting venue for the show, having been put on the map in the 1950s and 1960s by Joan Littlewood and her Theatre Workshop company. The once dilapidated emporium the company called home became a launchpad for working class actors, many of whom becoming household names in popular film and TV.
Probably the best known of TW alumni is former Carry On and EastEnders star, Barbara Wind…