Many actors, including Roger Allam, are objecting a proposed clause in actors’ contracts which forces them to do two Sunday performances. “Having two shows on a Saturday and a Sunday is just a nightmare if you’ve got kids,” he said. “It’s awful. It’s just absolutely dreadful.”
Currently, cast members are required to give permission for performances on Sunday, but under new proposals producers and theatres could enforce them as long as they notify actors within eight weeks.
Equity, the actors’ union, said balloting of its members appearing in London shows would continue this week. Voting was meant to end last Friday but the union said the process was taking longer than expected. The issue of extra Sunday performances in London’s West End theatres has incensed performers and is clouding the outcome of the ballot, which also concerns pay and sick benefit increases.
“I’m dead against it,” Roger Allam told The Independent. “I was against it when we moved to Sunday performance as more or less normal. I wouldn’t sign a contract for five shows over the weekend. I just wouldn’t do it.”
Equity expects the majority of their members to agree to the proposal, which includes a 2.2% increase in payment and a further increase in 2014. Equity states that if the settlement is rejected “there will be no more money on offer.”