Five-day rehearsal week trial at the National

Equity has secured a trial of five-day rehearsal weeks at the National Theatre for 2020 as the first step in efforts to modernise the union’s agreements across the theatre sector.

Under the agreement, the initial trial will ensure no rehearsals take place on Saturdays for 50 per cent of rehearsal periods at the National Theatre, subject to a review in June and December of next year. This review will take into account the experiences of performers, stage management and creative team members who have worked under the trial systems.

Paul Fleming, Equity’s organiser for the NT said: “It’s a really positive step from the NT that we’ve started this trial – whether it be for caring responsibilities, a better work/life balance or even work outside of the room, securing a guarantee that most Saturdays will not be worked is key to modern, respectful terms.”

Alastair Coomer, head of casting at the NT said: “The NT is committed to ensuring everyone can work at our national theatre, and that can only happen if our terms and conditions respect a quality work/life balance for artists. We are confident that this trial will allow us better to understand how to manage the competing demands of our artists and staff during the creative process, and help us create a model for a modern working week.”