Arts & Culture

Theatre shows could be impacted by possible industrial action

West End theatre shows could be impacted by industrial action around Easter time, as performers discuss walking out on strike if their pay demands are not met.

According to a report from the BBC, performing arts trade union Equity has put in a 17% pay rise request to the Society of London Theatre. 

Equity told the BBC that strikes were a possibility as “nothing” was “off the table”. 

In a statement, the Society of London Theatre said: “As we enter this year’s negotiations, we are keen to build on our already constructive relationship with Equity to achieve a sustainable outcome.”

The strikes could impact performances if the two organisations fail to reach an agreement. 

Equity is reportedly calling for a pay increase of 17% in the first year, followed by a further 10% increased in year two. Other demands from the trade union include a five-day rehearsal week instead of the current six days and an increase in holiday entitlement from 28 days to 34. 

The trade union said that two-thirds of its members had previously considered leaving the theatre industry over the last three years, while 45% had a second job. This is because their pay did not cover their living expenses. 

The BBC reported that over half of West End performers are currently receive the existing union-agreed minimum wage, which is £629.41 a week (€718.37/$777.59).