Finding Neverland to close on Broadway

The musical adaption of Finding Neverland is to close on Broadway, producer Harvey Weinstein has confirmed.

The show will be performed in New York for the final time in August, 18 months after it opened.

A national tour followed by a run in London’s West End will still go ahead as planned.

Weinstein also announced that a film version of the stage musical will be produced.

Finding Neverland originally started life as a non-musical film starring Johnny Depp. It was released in 2004 by Miramax, the company co-founded by Weinstein.

The musical version received its world premiere in Leicester in 2012 before transferring to Broadway last March.

The production received lukewarm reviews from critics, but had strong box office sales when it first opened.

Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer led the show’s original Broadway cast.

The New York stage production has grossed $54m (£37.2m) to date, but has not yet recouped its investors’ money.

“We believe the tour will help us recoup and London will be the profits,” Weinstein told The Hollywood Reporter.

“Night after night the audiences’ love for the show has been so inspiring.”

“Neverland will be beginning its around-the-world tour starting in the US in October, then London in Spring of 2017 and Asia in 2018.”

Weinstein’s previous investments on Broadway include The Producers, August: Osage County and Billy Elliot, but Finding Neverland was his first as lead producer.

He has already announced that his next Broadway venture will be a transfer of Singin’ in the Rain.

As a film producer, Weinstein’s credits include Shakespeare In Love, The Artist, Pulp Fiction and The King’s Speech

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O'Connor sued over Prince comments

Comedian Arsenio Hall is suing Sinead O’Connor after she suggested he supplied drugs to Prince.

O’Connor alleged on Facebook that Hall had been providing drugs to the singer, who died last month, for “decades”.

Hall filed a $5m (£3.46m) libel suit against O’Connor on Thursday, for damages to his reputation.

The comedian said O’Connor’s accusations were “despicable, fabricated lies” and labelled her a “desperate attention-seeker.”

O’Connor claimed she had reported Hall to the sheriff’s department in the Minneapolis suburbs that is investigating Prince’s sudden death.

In one of two Facebook posts about Hall, the Irish singer advised the comedian to “expect their call”.

“They are aware you spiked me years ago at Eddie Murphy’s house. You best get tidying your man cave,” she wrote.

Hall is best known as the former presenter of a popular late-night talk show in the US and as Murphy’s co-star in the film Coming to America.

A lawsuit by his lawyers filed in a Los Angeles court stated: “O’Connor is now known perhaps as much for her bizarre, unhinged rants as for her music.”

It added the accusations would have been read by “countless people” on Facebook and through subsequent news reports.

He has asked for a jury trial for libel, estimating the damages to his reputation to be “not less than” $5m.

The complaint says the full extent of the damages is “not presently known”, and therefore the amount could be amended before or at trial “if deemed necessary by the court”.

In the lawsuit, Hall said he has had little contact with O’Connor and questioned her knowledge of Prince’s life, noting that she previously admitted a tense relationship with him.

Investigators have not yet released a cause of death for Prince.

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Axl Rose: AC/DC tour to be ‘respectful’

Axl Rose says he means “no disrespect” to AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson, who he is replacing on the band’s Rock or Bust World Tour.

In his first interview in five years, the Guns N’ Roses star told BBC 6 Music he was huge fan of Johnson’s singing and “wants to do it justice”.

Rose was drafted in after Johnson was advised to stop playing live or “risk total hearing loss”.

He makes his debut with the band in Lisbon, Portugal, on Saturday 7 May.

“I’m happy and excited in one sense, but I think it would be inappropriate to be celebrating, in a certain way, at someone else’s expense,” he said.

“That’s not what I’m here to do. It’s an unfortunate situation.”

‘Crushed’

Some fans have been unhappy with Rose’s hiring, with several thousand requesting ticket refunds for some of the European shows – although these have now all been re-sold.

Johnson, 68, from Gateshead, has been lead singer with AC/DC since 1980.

In a statement last month, he said he was “crushed” by his inability to fulfil the remaining tour dates.

There have been rumours the split was acrimonious, but guitarist Angus Young explained he had spoken to Johnson extensively before he decided to leave the group.

“In his heart he wanted to finish [the tour] but because of that hearing factor he had to make the decision,” he told the BBC.

“It’s a hard thing to do, and he’d had the problem since we kicked off touring. It was his call. It was a shock to us too.”

“The last thing you want to do is walk away from something, but you don’t want someone in a tragic situation; being deaf, or any other affliction.”

Young said the band had “seen our fair share of tragedies”, including the departure of his brother, guitarist Malcolm Young, after he developed dementia, and the death of original singer Bon Scott in 1980.

“After that you’re doubly careful,” he said. “You want [band members] to be leaving in full body shape, not in a tragic way.”

‘Really challenging’

Rose also confirmed it was his idea to approach AC/DC about helping them complete the last 12 dates of their world tour.

“I called the day I read about it in the news, that there was a situation going on with Brian’s hearing,” he said.

“I called a guy who’s their production manager right now… because I knew there was going to be a problem with having dates on sale and dates sold and stuff like that. So if I could help, and if I was able to do it, and they were interested, I’d love to help. And that’s how it started.

“I wasn’t looking at it like, ‘I’m singing for AC/DC.’ I was looking at it like, ‘y’know, if I can, and if they think I’m able to do it.”

Rose also said he didn’t know whether he would be able to sing some of the songs in the set.

“A lot of the Back In Black stuff is really challenging. I’m not here in any way out of any disrespect to Brian. I can’t take anything away from his singing at all,” he said.

“He’s a great singer and it’s really challenging to sing it. I’m just trying to do it justice for the fans.”

AC/DC are due to play London’s Olympic Stadium on 4 June and Manchester’s Etihad Stadium five days later.

Rose will be alternating between shows with the Australian band and Guns N’ Roses, who are on tour with original guitarist Slash for the first time since the 1990s.

You can hear Matt Everitt’s full interview with AC/DC and Axl Rose on the BBC 6 Music Breakfast show from 07:00 BST on Friday, 6 May.

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Child star charged with bank robbery

The former child star of ’80s film Flight of the Navigator has been charged with bank robbery in Canada.

Deleriyes Joe Cramer, who was known as Joey Cramer when he starred in the 1986 movie, was arrested in Gibsons, British Columbia.

The robbery took place in nearby Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police issued a statement saying the 42-year-old had been charged with four offences relating to the bank robbery.

Cramer, who lives in Gibsons, was in a number of films as a child actor, including Runaway with Tom Selleck and The Clan of Cave Bear with Darryl Hannah.

His biggest film was the box office hit Flight of the Navigator, in which Cramer played the lead character David Freeman.

He was nominated for the Young Artist Award by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films in 1987.

His last credited role was on the 1987 TV movie Stone Fox.

Police say a disguise was used in the bank robbery. They have requested anyone with additional information, including information about a man purchasing or discarding a disguise involving a shoulder-length wig, bandana, and dark jacket with a reddish design on the back, to contact Sunshine Coast police.

Cramer has been charged with robbery, disguise with intent to commit an indictable offence, failure to stop for a police officer and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

He is next due in court on 10 May at North Vancouver Provincial Court.

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Child star charged with bank robbery

The former child star of ’80s film Flight of the Navigator has been charged with bank robbery in Canada.

Deleriyes Joe Cramer, who was known as Joey Cramer when he starred in the 1986 movie, was arrested in Gibsons, British Columbia.

The robbery took place in nearby Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police issued a statement saying the 42-year-old had been charged with four offences relating to the bank robbery.

Cramer, who lives in Gibsons, was in a number of films as a child actor, including Runaway with Tom Selleck and The Clan of Cave Bear with Darryl Hannah.

His biggest film was the box office hit Flight of the Navigator, in which Cramer played the lead character David Freeman.

He was nominated for the Young Artist Award by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films in 1987.

His last credited role was on the 1987 TV movie Stone Fox.

Police say a disguise was used in the bank robbery. They have requested anyone with additional information, including information about a man purchasing or discarding a disguise involving a shoulder-length wig, bandana, and dark jacket with a reddish design on the back, to contact Sunshine Coast police.

Cramer has been charged with robbery, disguise with intent to commit an indictable offence, failure to stop for a police officer and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

He is next due in court on 10 May at North Vancouver Provincial Court.

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Rory Kinnear part of new season at ENO

The new artistic director of the English National Opera has said he wants to move the company on from the “trauma” of the past year.

Speaking at the launch of the ENO’s 2016/17 season, Daniel Kramer said he wanted to start a “new chapter” at the opera house.

Highlights of the season include actor Rory Kinnear making his directorial debut with The Winter’s Tale.

The ENO will also take The Mikado to Blackpool’s Winter Gardens next summer.

It will also rent out its London Coliseum home during the summer as it contends with reduced funding from the Arts Council.

The new season features three new operas at the Coliseum – half as many as in 2015/16 – with 21 fewer opera performances overall.

In his first public comments since his appointment last week, Kramer said the ENO had been through “a very hard year”.

“The company underwent a trauma of sorts. The company spirit, which defines this company, has been in danger,” he said.

In February 2015, the Arts Council of England cut the ENO’s core funding by £5m and placed the company under “special funding arrangements”.

Artistic director John Berry quit the following July after 10 years in the post.

In February this year, the ENO chorus was set to strike over a pay dispute which was later resolved.

And in a shock announcement in March, music director Mark Wigglesworth announced his decision to leave after less than a year in the post.

Kramer, who officially starts in the role on 1 August, said had already been meeting the ENO’s chorus, orchestra and stage crew.

“I cannot and will not make them false promises about things I can magically restore,” he said at Thursday’s launch at the Coliseum.

“My goal right now is to get a programme on the main stage and outside that will magnetise our audience every year.”

Kramer, whose first programme won’t be until 2018/19, said he was exploring the idea of putting on one musical a year, as well as one-off concerts, and working with new British directors.

“I’ve got three big commissions in motion – if we can afford them,” he added. “I’ve hit the ground running trying to fundraise.”

In 2016/17, the ENO will begin to present a summer season of work at venues outside the London Coliseum.

ENO chief executive Cressida Pollock said that in 2017 the Coliseum would be vacated by the ENO for 15 weeks. The venue would be available to rent to visiting companies for £120,000 a week.

Rory Kinnear will making his first outing as a director in February next year with The Winter’s Tale, by the ENO’s composer-in-residence Ryan Wigglesworth.

“I could not be more thrilled to have been invited to work with Ryan on his debut opera, and at ENO, the place where my love for the artform first took hold. I’m giddy with excitement,” Kinnear said.

The actor’s Shakespearean roles include Hamlet and Iago in Othello – both at the National Theatre – while his best known screen role is Bill Tanner in the recent James Bond films.

Other highlights of the ENO’s 2016/17 include:

  • Jonathan Miller’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado at the Opera House at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool.
  • The European premiere of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, a jazz-infused chamber opera by Daniel Schnyder, at London’s Hackney Empire.
  • A new production of Don Giovanni, conducted by Mark Wigglesworth, with Christopher Purves in the title role.
  • A new partnership with the Southbank Centre to include a concert hall performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius.
  • Revivals will include Jonathan Miller’s Rigoletto and Mike Leigh’s The Pirates of Penzance, Catherine Malfitano’s Tosca and Penny Woolcock’s The Pearl Fishers.

The ENO will celebrate the work of director Jonathan Miller with a special gala evening on 16 November, marking more than 1,000 performances of his work over a 38-year period.

Originally named the Sadler’s Wells Opera Company, the ENO adopted its current name in 1974, six years after making the London Coliseum its home.

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Rory Kinnear part of new season at ENO

The new artistic director of the English National Opera has said he wants to move the company on from the “trauma” of the past year.

Speaking at the launch of the ENO’s 2016/17 season, Daniel Kramer said he wanted to start a “new chapter” at the opera house.

Highlights of the season include actor Rory Kinnear making his directorial debut with The Winter’s Tale.

The ENO will also take The Mikado to Blackpool’s Winter Gardens next summer.

It will also rent out its London Coliseum home during the summer as it contends with reduced funding from the Arts Council.

The new season features three new operas at the Coliseum – half as many as in 2015/16 – with 21 fewer opera performances overall.

In his first public comments since his appointment last week, Kramer said the ENO had been through “a very hard year”.

“The company underwent a trauma of sorts. The company spirit, which defines this company, has been in danger,” he said.

In February 2015, the Arts Council of England cut the ENO’s core funding by £5m and placed the company under “special funding arrangements”.

Artistic director John Berry quit the following July after 10 years in the post.

In February this year, the ENO chorus was set to strike over a pay dispute which was later resolved.

And in a shock announcement in March, music director Mark Wigglesworth announced his decision to leave after less than a year in the post.

Kramer, who officially starts in the role on 1 August, said had already been meeting the ENO’s chorus, orchestra and stage crew.

“I cannot and will not make them false promises about things I can magically restore,” he said at Thursday’s launch at the Coliseum.

“My goal right now is to get a programme on the main stage and outside that will magnetise our audience every year.”

Kramer, whose first programme won’t be until 2018/19, said he was exploring the idea of putting on one musical a year, as well as one-off concerts, and working with new British directors.

“I’ve got three big commissions in motion – if we can afford them,” he added. “I’ve hit the ground running trying to fundraise.”

In 2016/17, the ENO will begin to present a summer season of work at venues outside the London Coliseum.

ENO chief executive Cressida Pollock said that in 2017 the Coliseum would be vacated by the ENO for 15 weeks. The venue would be available to rent to visiting companies for £120,000 a week.

Rory Kinnear will making his first outing as a director in February next year with The Winter’s Tale, by the ENO’s composer-in-residence Ryan Wigglesworth.

“I could not be more thrilled to have been invited to work with Ryan on his debut opera, and at ENO, the place where my love for the artform first took hold. I’m giddy with excitement,” Kinnear said.

The actor’s Shakespearean roles include Hamlet and Iago in Othello – both at the National Theatre – while his best known screen role is Bill Tanner in the recent James Bond films.

Other highlights of the ENO’s 2016/17 include:

  • Jonathan Miller’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado at the Opera House at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool.
  • The European premiere of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, a jazz-infused chamber opera by Daniel Schnyder, at London’s Hackney Empire.
  • A new production of Don Giovanni, conducted by Mark Wigglesworth, with Christopher Purves in the title role.
  • A new partnership with the Southbank Centre to include a concert hall performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius.
  • Revivals will include Jonathan Miller’s Rigoletto and Mike Leigh’s The Pirates of Penzance, Catherine Malfitano’s Tosca and Penny Woolcock’s The Pearl Fishers.

The ENO will celebrate the work of director Jonathan Miller with a special gala evening on 16 November, marking more than 1,000 performances of his work over a 38-year period.

Originally named the Sadler’s Wells Opera Company, the ENO adopted its current name in 1974, six years after making the London Coliseum its home.

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Galton and Simpson get Bafta fellowship

Comedy writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson are to be honoured with a Bafta fellowship at this year’s ceremony.

The duo, who created Hancock’s Half Hour and Steptoe and Son, are credited as “the trailblazers of the situation comedy format”.

They were awarded OBEs in 2000 and will receive their Fellowship at the annual Bafta television awards on 8 May.

Alan Simpson said they were “extremely delighted” to receive the Fellowship in honour of their 60 year career.

“We always wanted a Fellowship, even though we did not know what a fellowship was. Not the sort of thing one associates with a couple of Cockney lads, apart from Alfred Hitchcock of course,” he said.

Ray Galton added that they were “happy and honoured” to accept the award “on behalf of all the Blood Donors, Test Pilots, Radio Hams and Rag and Bone Men of the 20th Century without whom we would probably be out of a job. Thank you all”.

Anne Morrison, Chair of Bafta, said it “comes as no surprise” that the duo were being honoured as they had “created some of the most iconic characters and programmes over the past few decades”.

“Alan and Ray have had such successful careers, spanning over 60 years, with credits such as Steptoe and Son and Hancock’s Half-Hour, two hugely popular sitcoms. They are rightly considered the trailblazers of the situation comedy format,” she said.

The duo met while being treated in a tuberculosis sanatorium in 1949, and started writing for the hospital’s radio station.

They went on to create the template for situation comedy with their popular series Hancock’s Half-Hour, which started as a radio show in 1954.

It later transferred to TV and was aired on the BBC from 1956 to 1960.

Steptoe and Son, about a father and son rag and bone team, was their biggest TV hit.

It ran for 12 years from 1963-1974 and reached an audience of 28 million viewers.

Harold Steptoe and his father Albert lived in a squalid home, and the comedy and drama centred on Harold’s constantly scuppered attempts to improve his lot.

Galton and Simpson are credited with bringing social realism to British comedy which helped lay the foundations for modern day classics like The Office.

They have won a number of awards, and in 2013 had a blue plaque unveiled in their honour at Milford Sanatorium in Guildford where they first met.

The Fellowship is Bafta’s highest honour. Previous recipients include Michael Palin, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Melvyn Bragg, Sir David Attenborough, Julie Walters and last year’s fellow, Jon Snow.

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Rolling Stones say no to Donald Trump

The Rolling Stones have told Donald Trump to stop playing their songs during his presidential campaign.

The band have issued a statement saying that the US presidential candidate does not have permission to use the band’s music.

“The Rolling Stones have never given permission to the Trump campaign to use their songs and have requested that they cease all use immediately.”

The candidate been playing their songs at his rallies for months.

Their 1969 hit You Can’t Always Get What You Want has been a particular favourite.

The band are not the first to protest at the reality TV star and businessman – now the Republican front-runner – using their music during his campaign.

In February, Adele issued a statement distancing herself from Trump, after he had been playing Adele’s hit Rolling In The Deep as his “warm-up” music at his rallies.

The singer issued a statement making it clear she had “not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning,” .

Aerosmith have also protested over their music being used in Trump’s campaign

Singer Steven Tyler’s lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter, saying the use of the band’s song Dream On “gives a false impression” he endorses Mr Trump’s presidential bid.

Tyler, who is a registered Republican, said it was not a “personal” issue but one of permission and copyright.

Prior to that Neil Young demanded that Trump stop using his song Rockin’ in the Free World, which the billionaire had used when he announced his candidacy in June last year.

Young demanded that Trump stop using the song and declared his support for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders.

Michael Stipe from REM issued a strongly worded statement when Trump then used the band’s song It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).

“Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign,” the statement read.

Trump who presented the US Apprentice is now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, after his last Republican rival John Kasich quit the race on Wednesday.

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