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Hope Theatre signs new fringe pay deal

8 October 2014

A new agreement between Equity and The Hope Theatre's new artistic director Matthew Parker has been announced this week. Although The Hope Theatre receives no public subsidy, it was the first off-West End venue to open with an Equity agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement actors and stage managers are guaranteed at least the minimum wage and statutory holiday pay for every hour they work, including rehearsals and performances. The agreement also covers hours of work, breaks and health and safety conditions.

Crucially the deal applies not only to in house productions, but also to all visiting companies to The Hope Theatre. With a number of high profile cases taken against fringe theatre producers for breaking the minimum wage act, this offers producers the peace of mind of knowing they operating within the law.

Emmanuel de Lange, Equity’s Low Pay No Pay Industrial Organiser, said: “It’s great news we have signed this agreement with The Hope Theatre, which guarantees pay and clear terms and conditions of work for the many Equity members who will work at The Hope. It's a sad fact that many actors working in fringe theatre in the UK aren't even paid the minimum wage, or protected by any kind of employment contract. Matthew Parker has demonstrated a genuine passion for providing better working conditions throughout the process of putting this agreement together. Equity is deeply committed to improving the culture of low pay on the fringe, and this agreement is a fantastic example of what we can achieve in collaboration with theatre management.There are many Equity members living in the Islington area, and I'm confident many of those will want to show their support by coming to see shows at The Hope Theatre in the near future.”

Matthew Parker, Artistic Director of The Hope Theatre, said: “I'm delighted to have signed the new house agreement with Equity. The climate is changing with regard to payment on the fringe and this agreement, and the producing models we've put in place at The Hope Theatre, give companies the security and ability to pay their performers a legal wage whilst still being able to mount a production in a 50-seat venue. The new shows programmed for the rest of this year are a fantastic mix of different voices and styles but all with a shared commitment to this house agreement.”

Find out more about Equity’s work on Low Pay and No Pay



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