The Society of London Theatre, representing all venues across the West End, has reached an agreement with the U.K.'s Equity union for live performance artists, one that provides job security to actors impacted by theatre shutdowns during the coronavirus pandemic.
The agreement covers all West End productions that were running at the time of the shutdown (implemented March 20), including limited runs that would have closed during the hiatus, as well as shows that were in rehearsal and had not yet begun. Performers under this umbrella will be able to continue on their current contracts, and will be ensured the opportunity to resume rehearsals and/or performances with revised dates once the industry is back up and running.
As this agreement does not apply to performers not currently under West End contracts, many freelancers in the theatre industry are not covered. SOLT and Equity both say they will continue to lobby with the Treasury and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for additional relief, including for those not covered by the government's Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
All West End theatres are currently closed through May 31. This date will continue to be adjusted on a rolling basis, however, based on government guidelines.