Win for improving working conditions in fringe theatres

Equity, and Islington’s Hope Theatre and King’s Head Theatre have both agreed updated House Agreements to improve the pay and working conditions for actors, performers and stage management in all productions at those theatres.

The agreement ensures that all performance and stage management professionals working at the Hope Theatre and King’s Head Theatre are protected by fair terms and conditions. It also commits all productions to stronger working practices, placing dignity at work and equality at the heart of productions.

King’s Head Theatre and Hope Theatre were some of the first fringe theatres to sign up to an Equity House Agreement in 2014. They have both been key supporters of Equity’s Professionally Made Professionally Paid campaign from the start.

Karrim Jalali, Equity’s Industrial Official for Low Pay No Pay said “The new agreement demonstrates King Head Theatre’s and Hope Theatre’s continued commitment to fairer working conditions in the industry. We’re delighted that even during difficult circumstances for the profession, they are putting aspiration, fairness and leadership at the heart of what they do. We encourage the public to support them.”

The updated agreement is positive news for Equity’s Professionally Made Professionally Paid campaign, highlighting a pathway for pub venues with no significant public funding to still make the finances work to pay performers and stage management fairly and give them stronger working conditions.

Phil Bartlett, Artistic Director of the Hope Theatre (pictured above), said:

“We're proud to have been the first Off-West End venue to open with an Equity agreement in place, and we remain committed to ensuring all performers and stage managers are properly paid for their work. We have ambitious plans for the future, but our updated Equity agreement reflects that fair pay and sustainable working conditions for all theatre professionals remain key tenets at the Hope."

Sofi Berenger, Producer at the King’s Head Theatre (pictured below), said, “The Kings Head Theatre has long championed professional pay for professional performers and stage management working in our theatre - a commitment we are very passionate about building on as a new leadership team. We’ll be focussing on supporting producers, to ensure a sustainable future for actors working in our sector at all scales. We encourage others to join us in developing fair and sustainable professional practices in the way they operate.”

Equity is encouraging all fringe venues and producers to use an Equity House Agreement as a minimum, and to play their part in building a fairer fringe.

Karrim Jalali of Equity said, “This should serve as an example to other fringe theatres and producers, that it’s not only possible to pay workers fairly and give them decent conditions of that work, but imperative to the sustainability and success of fringe theatre.”