18 October 2019
Equity is currently supporting 76 members who have been left unpaid and without pension contributions after working for Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre Limited (SRT). SRT was set up by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and ran a pop up theatre in the Castle car park in the centre of the city of York in the summer of 2018.
This year, the company repeated the venture as well as undertook a new production of Shakespeare’s plays in Blenheim Palace. They had also planned to take the show on tour to Manila.
There were around 90 performers, stage management and creative team roles across both sites.
Equity visited the performers, stage management and creative teams in both shows during the summer. It was clear from reports that the ticket sales were much lower than expected, especially in comparison to the success of the previous year.
The York and Blenheim Palace shows ended in early September.
By late September, reports emerged that the company was facing liquidation. Members contacted Equity for advice as some realised they were still owed wages, holiday pay, and pension contributions.
Equity helped members to collate amounts that they were owed and submitted them to the liquidators. Equity North East Regional organiser Dominic Bascombe attended a meeting of the liquidators this week and will seek to scrutinise the company’s accounts as the liquidators attempt to identify company assets that may be recoverable for paying members. Unfortunately SRT parent company Lunchbox Theatrical has also gone into administration.
Dominic Bascombe, Equity North East Regional organiser said:
“The collapse of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre is a brutal blow to our members who worked hard to deliver fantastic shows across the summer. Our members have been left owed wages for the work they have done, holiday pay, as well as less than expected pension contributions. The company has blamed Brexit for the poor sales but there must be an element of blame on the company trying to extend too far, too quickly. We will continue to fight for our members to be paid as soon as funds are identified. This may take a number of months. We are inviting all our members and anyone who may have worked for Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre over the summer to check that all of their payments from the company were made and if not, they should get in touch with us and we can direct them to the liquidators.”
Members can contact Dominic on firstname.lastname@example.org