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Performer's Holidays


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#1 hitster

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 07:43 PM

With the recent Christmas period and a lot of shows around the country putting on extra matinees, I wondered if cast members were not allowed to take holiday over this period. I'm thinking more of the show leads who in many cases are on a good wage so a week away in the sun at Xmas might be very appealing to them or some of the American performers who often have West End roles, a week back home over the holiday might be to their liking.

Do the producers put a ban on holidays for particular cast members during certain periods and are the extra matinees in this period always contracted in as even with Christmas Day off, some shows did more than 8 performances Christmas week.

#2 Orchestrator

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 10:54 PM

View Posthitster, on 11 January 2012 - 07:43 PM, said:

With the recent Christmas period and a lot of shows around the country putting on extra matinees, I wondered if cast members were not allowed to take holiday over this period. I'm thinking more of the show leads who in many cases are on a good wage so a week away in the sun at Xmas might be very appealing to them or some of the American performers who often have West End roles, a week back home over the holiday might be to their liking.

Do the producers put a ban on holidays for particular cast members during certain periods and are the extra matinees in this period always contracted in as even with Christmas Day off, some shows did more than 8 performances Christmas week.
For regular members of the company I think Christmas and New Year will be treated ostensibly the same as any other weeks of the year as far as application for holiday is concerned. I have no knowledge of stars' contracts but it might well be that they have their holiday arrangements set out in their contracts. The weekly pattern of performances for a West End production can't be changed without at least, I think, 13 weeks' notice according to Union agreements so the performance schedule for Christmas and New Year needs to be posted well in advance. National tours have been known to play Scotland for the week of Xmas and England for the week of New Year, thus depriving anyone entitled to double- or triple-time on Bank Holidays to be cheated out of two Bank Holidays. Extra shows above the normal 7 or 8 will (should) always attract extra payment.
Ooh, that Bernadette Shaw - what a chatterbox!

#3 Doogie Hoser

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:00 AM

In a pub after New Year I bumped into a lead who I'd seen New Year's Eve.  I mentioned I was surprised that all the principals were on that night.  His reply:  the $#@&*^%s wouldn't let anybody take it off!

#4 theatremole

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:38 AM

I'm technical and we weren't allowed holiday over Christmas/New Year. I've worked for a different chain who have been okay with someone taking time off over Christmas but generally they don't let you. For performers, I imagine it's part of their contract but the bigger stars can probably wangle time off.

#5 poster J

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:52 AM

Going by some of the WE leads I follow on twitter, quite a few of them seemed to have holidays in mid-December before the Christmas period itself.  And any show with extra dates gave the alternates/understudies an extra couple of shows so the leads weren't doing any more shows than normal.


Plus of course some shows had cast changes early in December, so it would be less likely for their new principals to be off.




#6 hitster

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:47 PM

Thanks for the feedback, I had noticed that a fair few leads were on holiday in the run up to Xmas. I suppose it does depend on the producer and the star, the bigger the name with either the more power I suppose they have.

Some performers do choose not to work over Xmas and having spoken to a fair few down the years, some often do say they have given up pantos so they can spend more time with the family. This is mainly fairly well known stars who maybe can pick and choose roles.




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