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International news round-up: July 12

18th-century theatre under threat

IRELAND/DUBLIN Ireland’s oldest theatre is under threat of demolition as part of plans to develop an office block in its stead. A campaign has been launched to save the Lord Amiens Theatre, which dates back to 1975, in north Dublin. The purpose-built Georgian auditorium is the only surviving 18th-century building of its type in the country. It forms part of Aldborough House, which has lain derelict for the past couple of decades. Dublin City Council has given Reliance Investments permission to demolish the theatre wing and convert the rest of the building into offices.

Campaign to restore ex-UK military theatre

GERMANY/OLDENBURG A 1.5 million campaign to restore a theatre on a former British military base in Germany is underway. Its first phase was successfully achieved in June with the venue’s purchase by the Kulturgenossenschaft Globe (Globe Theatre and Cinema Trust). The Globe was built by the British army at the Oldenburg-Donnerschwee barracks in 1954. The theatre has a 404-seat auditorium and is equipped with a fly loft, orchestra pit, cinema screen and a projection room that are all original. The German army took over the site but abandoned it in 1991. The trust wants to preserve the Globe as a historical monument and create a cultural venue for Oldenburg and the surrounding areas. For more go to: globe-oldenburg.de [1]

King Abdulaziz Center officially opened

SAUDI ARABIA/DHAHRAN Billed as Saudi Arabia’s first international theatre, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture is officially open for business after launching with a performance from Russia’s Mariinsky Orchestra. An initiative by the state oil company Saudi Aramco, the venue is designed by Norway’s Snohetta and hosts the Ithra (‘Change’) programme, a pioneering knowledge incubator. As an all-purpose culture destination it is designed to deliver the best of global cultures to Saudi audiences while providing a platform for local talent. The 900-seat venue features a movable stage that descends from the main platform to accommodate more than 80 musicians. For more go to: kingabdulazizcenter.com [2]

Shuntaro Fujita makes London debut

JAPAN/UK Japanese director Shuntaro Fujita will stage his first show in London in January 2019. The musical Violet will open at the Charing Cross Theatre, produced by Osaka’s Umeda Arts Theater. A protege of Yuko Ninagawa, Fujita is seen as instrumental in continuing the late director’s legacy. Violet is a US musical by composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Brian Crawley, which tells the story of a young disfigured woman who embarks on a long bus journey to be healed. The musical premiered Off-Broadway in 1997 and opened on Broadway in 2014.

Harry Potter to make Melbourne debut


Producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender have confirmed that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child [3] will make its Australian debut at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre on January 16 next year. Tickets will be released to the public on August 6. After London and New York, Melbourne will be the third city to host the show. The Marriner Group-venue previously established a record for the longest-running show in Victoria with The Phantom of the Opera. Productions of Harry Potter are also planned for San Francisco and Hamburg. For more information, go to: marrinergroup.com.au [4]

IATC prepares for 29th World Congress

RUSSIA/ ST PETERSBURG The International Association of Theatre Critics is putting out a call for papers to be delivered and discussed at its 29th World Congress in St Petersburg in November. With the theme entitled ‘Performing Arts Today: Freedom and (In)Tolerance’, the IATC is looking for papers that reflect on the challenges of freedom and tolerance in contemporary performance discourse and, as a first step, needs proposals/abstracts of 250 words, plus a brief biography to be sent in by August 25. Contact secretary general Michel Vais at michelninovais@gmail.com [5] for further details. The congress runs from November 14-15. For more information, go to: aict-iatc.org [6]

The International section is co-edited by Ian Herbert and Nick Awde. Contact email: international@thestage.co.uk [7]