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International news round-up: February 8

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UK retains access to EU culture awards

EUROPE The UK government has agreed a potential financial settlement with the European Union that will enable the UK to continue to benefit from EU cultural programmes. In principle, this means that UK organisations can continue to apply for the forthcoming Creative Europe media and culture sub-programme until December 2020. UK organisations will have exactly the same rights and obligations as other countries participating in the programme until the end of 2020.

In the event that there is ‘no deal’ by the end of the negotiations, the UK government has provided reassurance that it will underwrite the payments of awards where UK organisations bid directly to the EU on a competitive basis for its funding projects while the UK is still a member of the union, even when specific projects continue beyond Brexit.

ATW extends live theatre in cinemas

CHINA/Beijing  ATW Culture Media is screening National Theatre Live at cinemas across China. Last year it put more than 30 productions on the big screen, with 50 planned for this year. The company originally produced the 2015 China staging of War Horse in conjunction with the National Theatre of China, before becoming sole Chinese distributor of National Theatre Live in the same year. In addition to the National Theatre, the company also broadcasts from the Royal Shakespeare Company, Broadway and Stage Russia HD, playing to 220,000 people in 25 cities throughout the country.

Theatre to open in $3.4bn Taipa resort

MACAU/TAIPA Macau’s $3.4 billion (£24 billion) resort MGM Cotai opens in Taipa this month. The resort features Asia’s first dynamic theatre, which can accommodate up to 2,000 people. Installed with a 900 sq metres (9,690 sq ft) 4K LED screen, the size of three tennis courts, it is also the first theatre in the world to offer 28 million pixels of viewing. The resort was originally scheduled to open in late 2016, but a recession in the gaming industry caused it to be put on hold.

Registration opens for Prague showcase

CZECH REPUBLIC/PRAGUE Registration opens in February for the Czech showcase Hi Performancz. It is split into two sections, both taking place in Prague. One from May 16-19 is devoted to experimental and non-verbal theatre (including performances from companies such as Farm in the Cave), the second from September 19-22 covers drama and text-based shows such as Too Much Blood, a Theatre on the Balustrade production, which is based on Macbeth. There will be free accommodation, tickets and networking activities for a limited number of visitors. Details at divadlo.cz

International festival makes debut in Congo

REPUBLIC OF CONGO/BRAZZAVILLE The ITI Centre of the Republic of the Congo is organising the first edition of FITAAS (International Festival of Theatre and Other Performing Arts), planned to take place from March 27-31. The festival gathers theatre companies from Europe, the Maghreb, West and Central Africa. For further details, email iticongobrazza@yahoo.fr

C$10m gifted to theatre refurbishment

CANADA/STRATFORD Canada’s Stratford Festival has received a C$10 million (£5.75m) gift from long-time supporter Ophelia Lazaridis as part of the theatre’s new C$100 million (£57.5 million) campaign to rebuild and secure the Tom Patterson Theatre. The campaign will provide the funds for a new facility, designed by Toronto-based architect Siamak Hariri. The current facility was a retrofitted curling rink and is coming to the end of its life after 45 years. Last August, the festival unveiled the design for the new theatre, estimated to cost C$68 million (£40 million).

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

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