You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

West End labor talks resume

Stalled negotiations threatened to darken shows

LONDON

A U.K. labor dispute that has threatened to darken a number of West End shows — including “Wicked” at the Apollo Victoria Theater and “The Lion King” at the Lyceum — appears to be moving toward a resolution, with previously stalled talks resuming between the Ambassador Theater Group (ATG), the largest owner/operator of theaters in the U.K., and the 25,000-member media and entertainment union BECTU.

A strike, posed as a possibility by the union, could shutter productions at ATG’s 39 legit venues across the U.K. Contract issues under dispute are primarily pay scale and work hours for front-of-house staff, plus a change from weekly to monthly pay imposed by the government.

Talks had been ongoing at the offices of U.K. arbitration body A.C.A.S. but broke down Feb. 25 after ten hours.

BECTU accused ATG of sabotaging the talks by making changes to an agreement reached only last September, and quickly began balloting its members about strike action (as legally required). Although no details of potential disruption were released, the union issued a statement warning theatergoers they should check in advance whether the shows they have booked might be hit.

A spokesperson for ATG told Variety the org had been actively trying to get the talks back on track and that ATG remain upbeat and were keen to resolve the issue.

In its official statement, the org said, “ATG was stunned and disappointed when BECTU decided to break off from negotiations on Monday. BECTU rejected out of hand an improved pay deal and a three-and-a-half-hour minimum call time (more than had been lobbied for) for all front-of-house staff affected from 1 April. Talks with BECTU have resumed today in the hope of finding swift resolution.”

The spokesman for BECTU, already involved in the latest round of talks, could not be reached for comment.

More Legit

  • Hello, Dolly! Bette Midler

    Bette Midler to Return to Broadway's 'Hello, Dolly!'

    LONDON A U.K. labor dispute that has threatened to darken a number of West End shows — including “Wicked” at the Apollo Victoria Theater and “The Lion King” at the Lyceum — appears to be moving toward a resolution, with previously stalled talks resuming between the Ambassador Theater Group (ATG), the largest owner/operator of theaters […]

  • My Fair Lady review

    Broadway Review: 'My Fair Lady'

    LONDON A U.K. labor dispute that has threatened to darken a number of West End shows — including “Wicked” at the Apollo Victoria Theater and “The Lion King” at the Lyceum — appears to be moving toward a resolution, with previously stalled talks resuming between the Ambassador Theater Group (ATG), the largest owner/operator of theaters […]

  • Tony Awards: Sara Bareilles, Josh Groban

    Sara Bareilles, Josh Groban to Host 2018 Tony Awards

    LONDON A U.K. labor dispute that has threatened to darken a number of West End shows — including “Wicked” at the Apollo Victoria Theater and “The Lion King” at the Lyceum — appears to be moving toward a resolution, with previously stalled talks resuming between the Ambassador Theater Group (ATG), the largest owner/operator of theaters […]

  • New York Mayor's Office women

    New York Mayor's Office Details New $5 Million Women's Fund for Film, Theater

    LONDON A U.K. labor dispute that has threatened to darken a number of West End shows — including “Wicked” at the Apollo Victoria Theater and “The Lion King” at the Lyceum — appears to be moving toward a resolution, with previously stalled talks resuming between the Ambassador Theater Group (ATG), the largest owner/operator of theaters […]

  • Tina review

    West End Review: Tina Turner Musical 'Tina'

    LONDON A U.K. labor dispute that has threatened to darken a number of West End shows — including “Wicked” at the Apollo Victoria Theater and “The Lion King” at the Lyceum — appears to be moving toward a resolution, with previously stalled talks resuming between the Ambassador Theater Group (ATG), the largest owner/operator of theaters […]

  • Jamie Parker Harry Potter

    Stagecraft Podcast: 'Cursed Child's' Jamie Parker on Joining the 'Harry Potter' Universe

    LONDON A U.K. labor dispute that has threatened to darken a number of West End shows — including “Wicked” at the Apollo Victoria Theater and “The Lion King” at the Lyceum — appears to be moving toward a resolution, with previously stalled talks resuming between the Ambassador Theater Group (ATG), the largest owner/operator of theaters […]

  • 2018 National Playwrights Conference

    Beth Henley, J.T. Rogers and Sarah DeLappe Set for 2018 O'Neill Playwrights Conference

    LONDON A U.K. labor dispute that has threatened to darken a number of West End shows — including “Wicked” at the Apollo Victoria Theater and “The Lion King” at the Lyceum — appears to be moving toward a resolution, with previously stalled talks resuming between the Ambassador Theater Group (ATG), the largest owner/operator of theaters […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content