×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Plouviez Exits British Equity

British Equity is about to lose its general secretary of 16 years. At age 60, Peter Plouviez is retiring in June because “there are other things I want to do with my life.”

Probably Britain’s best known and most quoted showbiz union official, he was an architect of the one-for-one talent waiver agreement between U.S. and U.K. Equity. That deal, more warmly approved by producers and audiences than actors, has known some rocky times but surely will stand as a legit landmark.

Relations between the two branches of Equity never have been better. “We trust each other,” says Plouviez.

Alan Eisenberg, Plouviez’ counterpart at American Equity, concurs. “There is a lot of trust,” Eisenberg said, “even though there have been problems because actors on both sides of the Atlantic sometimes express consternation about a given exchange. But he’s a witty and intelligent human being, and I’m going to miss him.”

Plouviez has also forged new ties with America’s Screen Actors Guild.

All told, Plouviez has logged 31 years with the union, which was founded in 1930. In his time, initially as deputy general secretary, Equity absorbed the old Variety Artiste’s Federation, a fading alliance of cabaret, circus and music hall performers. Today’s Equity reps talent in virtually every performing field, from movies and tv to opera as well as legit.

Plouviez leaves at a time of mounting concern for the union, which had about 10,000 members when he became general secretary and now has about 46,000, 80% of whom are out of work at any given time. A comparable ratio at U.S. Equity explains why the respective memberships aren’t so thrilled with that waiver agreement.

Brit Equity’s big battle at the moment is trying to reverse or modify a recent ruling that changes the tax status of members who entered the profession since 1987. For this group, travel and “other vital expenses” ceased to be deductible since last April, a ruling the union plans to challenge in the courts as “inappropriate” for casual labor – the typical Equity member’s lot.

The race to succeed Plouviez, by majority vote of the members, pits his deputy (and expected winner) Ian McGarry against two left-wing actors. The result will be declared by April.

More Legit

  • By the Way Meet Vera Stark

    Off Broadway Review: 'By the Way, Meet Vera Stark' by Lynn Nottage

    After writing two harrowing Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, “Sweat” and “Ruined,” Lynn Nottage is entitled to have a little fun. But while this revival of her new play, “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” walks and talks like a screwball comedy, it has a real brain in its head. Before we get too serious, let’s meet [...]

  • Merrily We Roll AlongRoundabout Theatre CompanyMERRILY

    Off Broadway Review: 'Merrily We Roll Along'

    Like the optimistic youths at the end — or is it the beginning? — of “Merrily We Roll Along,” creatives keep going back to this problematic Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical, re-imagining the show in the hope that the end results will be different this time around. They’re not. But disappointments are often off-set by new [...]

  • My Fair Lady Laura Benanti

    Listen: Laura Benanti on 'My Fair Lady' and the Secret to Her Melania Trump Impersonation

    Laura Benanti is now playing her dream role on Broadway. At the same time, the Tony winner (“Gypsy”) is also playing her toughest part ever. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “It’s the most demanding part I think I’ll probably play,” said Benanti, now appearing as Eliza Doolittle in Lincoln Center Theater’s well-received revival of [...]

  • Hamilton West End Production.

    'Hamilton' Panic Over Mistaken Reports of Gunfire Injures Three in San Francisco

    Three people were injured after mistaken reports of an active shooter at a San Francisco production of “Hamilton” caused attendees to flee the theater. CNN reported that a woman experienced a medical emergency — later determined to be a heart attack — during a scene in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play wherein Founding Father Alexander Hamilton is shot on [...]

  • The American Clock review

    London Theater Review: 'The American Clock'

    Time is money. Money is time. Both come unstuck in “The American Clock.” Arthur Miller’s kaleidoscopic account of the Great Depression, part autobiography, part social history, crawls through the decade after the Wall Street crash, dishing up snapshots of daily life. In the Old Vic’s classy revival, director Rachel Chavkin (“Hadestown”) tunes into the play’s [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Off Broadway Review: Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Sea Wall/A Life'

    Comfy? Okay, let’s talk Death: sudden death, painful death, lingering death, accidental death, and whatever other kinds of death happen to come into the receptive minds of playwrights Simon Stephens (“Sea Wall”) and Nick Payne (“A Life”). The writing in these separate monologues — playing together on a double bill at the Public Theater — [...]

  • Michael Jackson Estate Cancels Musical Test-Run

    Michael Jackson Estate Cancels Musical Test-Run

    With an HBO documentary that places strong allegations of abuse against Michael Jackson premiering in two weeks, the late singer’s estate announced Thursday that it’s canceling a scheduled Chicago test run of a jukebox musical about him. The estate and its producing partner in the musical, Columbia Live Stage, said that they’re setting their sights on going [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content