Performing arts union Equity has demanded compensation for both current and future cast members of Cinderella after it was announced the West End show was closing.
It was announced on Sunday that, despite opening to rave reviews, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production will end on June 12 after playing at the Gillian Lynne Theater for less than a year.
Some cast members have claimed they read the news on social media or news websites before finding out for themselves.
Angry at the treatment of @EquityUK Members on Cinderella?
We protest outside the Gillian Lynne Theater at 2.30pm.
Retweet, share and participate.
— Paul W. Fleming (@paulwfleming) May 3, 2022
Equity holds a protest outside the theater on Tuesday afternoon, demanding that creative workers “be treated with dignity at work”.
Its general secretary, Paul W. Fleming, said, “Equity members made this show. They put their hearts and skills into it in the worst two years in living memory. Now they are unemployed, effectively laid off by press release.
“All unions are currently fighting forms of this practice – and Equity will receive compensation for our members after the pain and hardship it has caused them.”
The union is demanding that current cast members receive the full value of their contracts until they expire on July 17 and that those due to join the cast in early June receive “fair compensation”.
She also urges manufacturers to take better account of the impact of their business decisions “on the real lives of their workforce” and notify the union in advance of future closures.
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A statement said: “Don’t think that emailing an agent or cast member after hours fulfills your obligation. It’s not about the press, it’s about the dignity of workers.”
Written by The Crown star Emerald Fennell and starring Carrie Hope Fletcher, Cinderella is described as a “complete reinvention” of the classic fairy tale and is based on an original idea by Fennell.
It has been plagued by Covid-19-related disruptions since the first workshop in 2019 before being previewed in June 2021 with a reduced audience due to pandemic restrictions.
Hope Fletcher, who plays Cinderella, wrote on Twitter: “I don’t think I’m at a loss for words. And if I did, I would probably be advised not to say them. Sending love to everyone affected by today’s news and the way that news was delivered.”
Theater producer and writer James Graham said in a tweet: “When your show became the face of ‘reopening.’ By all means, if you have complete control over the announcement of the closure, make sure employees know about it first.
“By no means write an article days before you tell them to for the trade magazine. Be sure to call your actors.”
I don’t think I have the words. And if I did, I would probably be advised not to say them. Sending love to everyone affected by today’s news and how this news was delivered. 💔
— Carrie Hope Fletcher (@CarrieHFletcher) May 1, 2022
In a nearly three-hour video on Instagram, actress Summer Strallen said that even though she received an email, her agent “was basically fired from social media, which is just not okay.”
The theater star was set to take on the role of Rebecca Trehearn’s Queen.
In a statement, Lord Lloyd-Webber previously said he was “incredibly proud” of the show, adding: “Not only has it received some of the best reviews of my career, but we have led the charge to reopening the West End, to ensure that theater and live entertainment stayed relevant and in the news.
“While it has been an incredible challenge to put together a new show amid Covid, we have kept the Government’s feet on fire during their change of heart during the pandemic.”
Lord Lloyd-Webber’s statement added: “Now I’m really looking forward to starting work on putting together a new production with (the production company) No Guarantees for Broadway.
“Thank you to everyone involved, especially our UK audience who loved and supported the show. See you on Broadway next March.”
Lord Lloyd-Webber’s Really Useful Group has been contacted for further comments.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/equity-calls-for-compensation-over-closure-of-andrew-lloyd-webbers-cinderella-41610592.html Equity seeks compensation over closure of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella