Colors: Red Color

The Royal Shakespeare Company have announced five new Trustee appointments at its Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). The appointments have been made following a public and far-reaching recruitment campaign for RSC Board members. The focus of the recruitment was to bring new and diverse experience from theatre practitioners, people who teach and write about Shakespeare, and those with have experience of leading change and challenging thinking, to complement the skills of the existing RSC Board members.

Andrew Miller, cultural consultant and broadcaster; Amanda Parker, Founder Director of Inc Arts UK; Winsome Pinnock, playwright; Justine Themen, Theatre Director and Change Maker; and Ayanna Thompson, Regents Professor of English at Arizona State University, will all join the RSC’s Board for an initial three-year term and five-year term as RSC Governors.

RSC Chair, Nigel Hugill, said: “As we have moved through this pandemic, the Board has continued to lead the RSC commitment to be diverse, progressive, relevant and ambitious. These five new appointments are unequivocal demonstration of those commitments and they share with all our Board members terrific skills, great experience, enormous range, and unwavering enthusiasm.

“The public recruitment campaign generated enormous interest with almost 350 applicants. So many exceptional candidates showing a passion for theatre, the arts and education by putting themselves forward is an inspiration in these testing times."

The Company has also begun the search for a new Chair, with Nigel Hugill’s extended term ending in April. The new Chair is expected to be appointed by Spring. Current RSC Board members include: Nigel Hugill (Chair), Sir William Atkinson, Miranda Curtis, Gregory Doran, Catherine Mallyon, Genista McIntosh, Clare Reddington, James Shapiro, Mark Smith, Ian Squires, Mark Thompson, Liz Vernon, Lucy Williams.

 

The Duke of Sussex has given further insights into life in California with Meghan and their son Archie, giving an interview to James Corden during a segment on The Late Late Show during which he interviewed the royal while travelling the streets of Los Angeles on an open-top bus. The interview setting provided plenty of fresh air and space for social distancing - and the prince apparently relished his first ride on an open-top double-decker.

Corden's relaxed and less probing approach didn't stop Harry from opening up about some elements of the family's life and their decision to swap London for LA, explaining how the UK press was "toxic" and "destroying my mental health". He also gave his views about Netflix's The Crown and revealed what the Queen gave Archie for Christmas.

One of the questions asked was ‘what his and Megan’s lives would involve after lockdown is lifted,’ which Harry replied: "I've no idea. A slightly different version but a continuation of what we were doing back in the UK.

"My life is always going to be about public service - the two of us signed up to that and the two of us enjoy doing that, trying to bring some compassion and trying to make people happy and trying to change the world in any small way that we can."

On the hit Netflix sensation, he said: "I'm way more comfortable with ‘The Crown’ than I am seeing the stories written about my family or my wife or myself... They don't pretend to be news, it's fictional," Harry added. "But it's loosely based on the truth. Of course it's not strictly accurate, but… it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle, what the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else, what can come from that."

On their open-top bus tour of L.A., Harry and James stopped off at the house that was used in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air before Harry proved he was a true fan of the 90s sitcom by rapping the theme tune while walking up the drive before James then FaceTimed Meghan on Harry's phone in an attempt to convince her - she demurred, saying "I think we've done enough moving", before asking her husband: "Haz, how's your tour of LA going?"

The Duchesses of Sussex will be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on March 7.

As seen on The Pinball Show, Zen Studios has announced that Star Wars Pinball tables are finally coming to virtual reality for the first time ever. Star Wars Pinball VR will release on the original Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2, Steam VR, and PlayStation VR on April 29, 2021. The game’s reveal trailer is a heartfelt homage to the classic theatrical preview for the 1997 Star Wars Special Editions.

Star Wars Pinball VR will launch with eight amazing tables. The Mandalorian and Star Wars Classic Collectibles – two tables never before released – will be joined by six remastered favourites, including Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars Rebels, and Masters of the Force. Beyond the incredible realism added by VR, Star Wars Pinball VR upgrades the core Star Wars Pinball experience with new features exclusive to this release.

The “Fan Cave” is the new home for both your pinball table and the customizable array of Star Wars lightsabers, blasters, helmets and more you’ll earn while playing. Place an action figure on the pinball table and the room comes to life – not only with a new table to play, but with life-sized characters and vehicles joining you on either side.

Total Immersion mode lets you experience everything at table level, standing you side-by-side with your favourite characters. And full 360-degree mini-games surround you with iconic Star Wars set pieces like the speeder bike chase on Endor, the Bespin carbon-freezing chamber duel, and more. In addition, players will have access to classic Star Wars Pinball features like Career mode, Force powers, competitive game modes, haptic controller feedback, your own personal cantina jukebox and more.

“Zen Studios has had great success bringing Pinball FX digital tables to VR, and we couldn’t be happier to finally have Star Wars enter the mix,” says Mel Kirk, Chief Operating Officer at Zen Studios. “It really does feel like you’re playing an actual pinball machine right in front of you! Star Wars Pinball VR is built to be expanded upon, too – no announcements just yet, but we’re hoping to keep the blast doors open for new DLC in the future.”

Star Wars Pinball VR was revealed on The Pinball Show – Zen Studios’ new monthly YouTube program featuring news, interviews and more.

ITV has brought the final of this year's series of Dancing On Ice forward by a week after a string of celebrities pulled out through illness and injury.

The final will now take place on March 14, instead of March 21 as planned. The decision comes after producers scrapped last week's live programme because of the disruption.

Jason Donovan became the latest star to pull out, following Denise van Outen, Billie Shepherd, Rufus Hound and Joe-Warren Plant. The Australian singer and actor has been suffering from back pain, while actress van Outen and reality TV star Shepherd both sustained injuries during training.

Meanwhile, comedian Hound and Emmerdale actor Plant tested positive for Covid-19. On top of the celebrity withdrawals, professional skater Hamish Gaman, who partnered soap actress Faye Brookes, dropped out last week after injuring a finger while putting on a sock.

He was replaced by Matt Evers. Brookes said that training with a new partner was a "whole new world", adding: "We've had 11 hours together to get ready for Sunday." Evers said: "We are still standing, the morale here is still high.

"We know we're up against a lot this year and it's just a matter of making the best out of a weird situation that 2020 and 2021 have brought, so it's a matter of continuing to move forward, keeping that smile on our faces and hopefully entertaining people on Sunday night."

The contest is due to resume this weekend with five remaining celebrities - Brookes, Rebekah Vardy, Lady Leshurr, Colin Jackson and Sonny Jay. An ITV spokesperson said: "Our production team and cast have delivered a fantastic show during incredibly challenging times. Continuing to make the best TV for our viewers is our top priority and we look forward to the rest of the series."

Dancing On Ice is not alone in having to deal with disruption to its schedule in recent months.

A video guide to making a Chinese red paper ‘palace lantern’, made by a Birmingham design student during lockdown, has been released to mark the end of the Chinese New Lunar Year celebrations in the UK.

Yujie Li, an international student from China, is pursuing an MA degree in Visual Communication at Birmingham City University. Friday 26 February marks the arrival of the Lantern Festival in Chinese culture. As a “master of paper”, Yujie produced and shared a video to raise awareness of the tradition of making paper lanterns.

The Lantern Festival is a Chinese event marking the 15th day of the first lunar month, first recorded as part of the Sui and Tang dynasties, that now sees children and families carrying ‘palace lanterns’ out in the streets, and solving riddles illustrated on the lanterns. The palace lanterns are regarded as one of the traditional handicrafts of the Han nationality, featuring strong local characteristics in the design.

Lion and dragon dances, and riddle games, are popular activities during the Lantern Festival, which is observed in China and by the Chinese diaspora across the world.

Yujie Li’s DIY Chinese paper ‘palace lantern’ video is available to watch on the Birmingham City University YouTube channel and is accompanied by a written guide:

Materials:

 

10 sheets of A4 sized red card

Scissors or graphic design cutting knife

Pencil

Eraser

Ruler

5 sheets of Tracing paper

Red string

Process

 

1.    Cut out the palace lantern templates according to the drawings given in the video, and paste them on each of the adjacent pages, so that you have a cylinder that unrolls out from the centre

2.    Following Yujie’s drawings in the video, cut out strips of 7×72cm (top) and 13×64cm (middle) respectively. Since the lantern has eight sides, each side should be 7×9cm and 13×8cm in size. Then cut your favourite Chinese pattern in the middle of each side and cover it with tracing paper of the same size. 

3.    After that, assemble the materials prepared in the first two steps, and the prototype of a lantern will appear, but we still need to add a little decoration to it. Choose any pattern you like, paste the material into the appropriate size in the form of paper-cut, and paste it on the tracing paper (remember to paste it from the inside of the lantern).

4.    Finally, the lanterns are strung with red string and tassel. Put a string of coloured lights in the middle of the lantern so that the lantern can be lit at night.

24-year-old student, Yujie Li said, “This was my first Chinese New Year in UK, and it was unlike any other. Although I was "reunited" with my family via a WeChat online call, other friends who had stayed behind in the UK and I decided to make this unusual New Year's Day more meaningful by cooking a meal together. It is also the first time I have made Chinese lanterns with limited materials in another country! I feel very honoured to have such an opportunity to demonstrate my own culture, and I hope this video will help to increase people's interest in traditional Chinese culture.” 

Birmingham is home to one of the UK’s largest Chinese communities. The city has a Chinese Quarter, an area of Chinese influence with Chinese-owned, businesses and organisations with buildings in Hurst Street and Ladywell Walk featuring Chinese architecture.

Releasing with the assistance of Film Victoria, Australia, Room to Grow is a Cactus-based puzzle game on Steam for PC & Mac, launching today, 25th February 2021. Mischka Kamener has created a visually stunning indie title that will twist puzzle fans minds in unique cactus-based ways.

In Room to Grow, players must solve a succulent forest worth of prickly puzzles, learning to manoeuvre as a cactus in order to return other cacti to their pots, and with every puzzle solved, help to grow their way back home to the desert. Secrets and surprises await those who are brave enough to tackle the thorny challenges in each game world.

"I hope that the surprises I've left for players will leave a lasting impression on them, just like the games I was inspired by did to me," commented Mischka Kamener, creator and developer of Room to Grow, "I'm incredibly grateful to Film Victoria for their belief in me and my game - without that, I wouldn't have been able to turn Room to Grow into what it is today."

Room to Grow Features:


* Over 100 hand-crafted puzzles
* Discover unexpected mechanics that will twist your mind differently to any other puzzle

  game
* Play the way you want - Undo and restart as often as you like, skip puzzles if you want to
* No timer, no action elements, no move counter - This game is all about the satisfaction of  

  solving puzzles
* Featuring a delightful original soundtrack by Romain Rope