Owls removed from Harry Potter play

Owls removed from Potter play Producers have removed owls from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child after a barn owl escaped into the auditorium at a preview show last week and failed to return to its handler. “The decision was made not to feature live owls in any aspect of the production moving forward,” they […]

Owls removed from Potter play

Producers have removed owls from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child after a barn owl escaped into the auditorium at a preview show last week and failed to return to its handler. “The decision was made not to feature live owls in any aspect of the production moving forward,” they said. Animal welfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said it was “a huge relief for all Harry Potter fans who care about animals”. The play, set 19 years after the climax of JK Rowling’s final Harry Potter novel, opens on July 30. – AP

Knighthood for Rod Stewart

Singer Rod Stewart, 71, can now call himself Sir Roderick David Stewart. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in her Birthday Honours list, which also included recognition for astronaut Tim Peake and Downton Abbey star Penelope Wilton. Stewart was honoured “for services to music and charity” and Wilton for services to drama. Peake, who is nearing the end of a six-month stint aboard the International Space Station, became a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George, which recognises “service rendered internationally or in a foreign country”. The Foreign Office said Peake “is the first person to be honoured in this order as a British representative in space”. Other recipients included TV-presenting duo Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, actor Brian Blessed, who received the Order of the British Empire, and wartime singer Dame Vera Lynn, who joins the elite Companions of Honour.- AP

Carrie Fisher as agony aunt

Carrie Fisher, who starred as Princess Leia in Star Wars, is sharing her life experiences as an agony aunt for British newspaper The Guardian. The 59-year-old is imparting lessons learnt from years of drug addiction and mental illness. She promised to “provide solicited advice, based on a life filled with pratfalls and accidents” but added that she wanted questions to come “from the younger members of our congested world”. Fisher’s memoir, The Princess Diarist, is out in October and is based on her diaries during the original Star Wars trilogy. -AFP

Record Broadway ticket prices

Tickets for the Broadway musical Hamilton, which has been the hottest ticket for almost a year, are selling for record-breaking prices. Some fans are shelling out more than $6,000 a ticket to see the final performance on July 9, by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show’s creator and leading actor as Alexander Hamilton. Since debuting in July 2015, the hip-hop musical has become Broadway’s most popular show. Based on the story of the founding fathers of the United States,fans include president Barack Obama. Ticket resale website StubHub said that: “We’re calling Hamilton the cultural equivalent of the Super Bowl.” Miranda, who wrote and composed the musical, announced on June 2 he would be leaving the show to focus on other projects. The musical will continue on Broadway at least until next year, but the chance to see Miranda’s final shows has fans clamouring for seats. Tickets have already gone for $6,500 on StubHub and $6,600 on another website, TiqIQ. – AFP

Prince to be awarded degree

The University of Minnesota will award a posthumous honorary degree to music legend Prince. Its 12 regents voted unanimously to bestow a College of Liberal Arts degree to Prince Rogers Nelson, who lived in Minnesota. University president Eric Kaler said the process began before Prince’s death from an accidental overdose of the narcotic painkiller fentanyl, on April 21. – AP

Actress Raveena Tandon wants to open school

Bollywood actress Raveena Tandon wants to fulfil her dream of opening a school to teach vocational skills. She said: “It’s my dream to build my own school in [a] village to give basic education to children and give them skills. It can be anything – whether tailoring or beauty therapy. The idea is to give these children skills, thereby helping them with a job.” Tandon adopted two girls as a single mother when she was 21 and gave shelter to 30 girls when they were asked to leave an orphanage at short notice. Tandon urged people to educate girls when she spoke during the second anniversary celebrations of the Narendra Modi government, saying: “The crux of all the problems like unemployment or no education is population and poverty.” She said: “There is no need to have 10 to 12 kids. Have one or two kids and give them the right upbringing. Give them the best food and facilities. A small family is the sign of a progressive family.” – IANS

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Source: art & life

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