Equity wins case for magician

When magician Simon West learnt that he had been accepted to perform on board a cruise ship in 2017, he was absolutely delighted.

“I was thrilled because I really wanted to get into performing in the cruise industry as I had heard so many good things about the experience,” he said. That stint on a cruise ship in 2017 led to an offer of further work in 2018 through well-known talent agency PEEL entertainment.

He signed the contract in early 2018 and was set to work that summer for a fee of nearly £4000. However, the job was abruptly cancelled as the cruise ship decided they no longer wanted a magician to perform. That left the problem of Simon’s contract.

“I was upset about the cancellation of the contract as I had obviously had to plan my other work and family life around the months I was due to be away,” he said. “It was to be an extensive period of my time doing the job.”

When PEEL refused to pay Simon for the late cancellation, he turned to his union Equity for help.

“Simon’s case is unfortunately one of many that we see,” said Dominic Bascombe, Equity’s North East Regional Organiser. “We sought payment of his fee
but eventually had to take the matter to the small claims court.”

At the hearing in Skipton County Court, the judge ruled in Simon’s favour and he was awarded his full fee.

“This is a great example of how contracts protect our members,” said Bascombe. “Many lose out on their fees when performances are cancelled at the last minute. Having a contract in place is vital.”