Musicians’ Union secures fair rates of pay for musicians with The King’s Head Theatre

Musicians’ Union secures fair rates of pay for musicians with The King’s Head Theatre

Following an outcry from musicians last week over low fees advertised for work at The King’s Head Theatre, Islington: the Musicians’ Union (MU) is delighted to announce that a speedy and positive resolution has been reached.

The original advert called for a small band of musicians to back a ‘world-renowned singer’ at the 110-seat King’s Head Theatre. The fees advertised (£30 per show and £30 per 3-hour rehearsal) are half of the current industry standard minimums, as per the MU / Theatrical Management Association agreement (the professional body with whom the MU conduct negotiations for musicians engaged in theatres outside the West End of London).

The King’s Head, in response to correspondence from the MU, acted swiftly to meet with MU Officials (Theatre Section Secretary, Paul Burrows and London Official, Jo Laverty) and enable a fair solution to be reached within 24 hours.

MU London Official Jo Laverty says:

“Although the King’s Head have a house agreement with Equity, they had not previously had cause to meet the MU and the original rates offered were done without knowledge of the appropriate minima for musicians.

“We simply cannot condone work being offered at below industry minimum rates, and where musicians accept such offers it further erodes the ability of their colleagues to demand a fair rate of pay.

“We were impressed that within the financial constraints of a small unfunded theatre the King’s Head committed very quickly to guaranteeing the appropriate fees. We sincerely hope that this one-off project is a success, and leads to more work for musicians at the King’s Head. If so we of course look forward to working with them again in the future”.

A King’s Head spokesperson says:

“We are delighted to have been able to work with the Musicians’ Union to come to an agreement that they are able to ratify and which also takes into account the size of our venue and financial situation. We are committed to working with artists’ unions to ensure fair pay and working conditions, and to make sure that we are able to continue to create theatre and music, and more work for artists, in the future.”