Archive for June 4th, 2007

New UK Theatre Agreement

4th June 2007 by Maura McHugh

On Friday the new President of the Writers Guild of the UK, David Edgar, signed a new TNC agreement on behalf of the Guild. TNC is shorthand for the first minimum-terms collective agreement between the Writers Union and the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Court, which was established in 1979.

This agreement has been under review for several years, and new terms have been negotiated. Writers for the stage will now receive an upfront fee of £10,000 (the combined commission, delivery and acquisition fees) in all RSC, NT and RC spaces except for the Theatre Upstairs. This payment will also serve as a benchmark for the Guild’s further negotiations with other companies.

The new agreement also cements that playwrights are entitled to payment for all the days they attend rehearsals (with their accommodation expenses covered), and for conducting other production-related business. The playwrights’ right to casting approval is also safeguarded.

There are a number of other changes, including a shortening of the option period from eight months down to six months, and it even covers the issue of how extracts of the play may be displayed on the theatre’s website.

Dutch Reality is Unreal

4th June 2007 by Maura McHugh

In a clever twist, the Dutch reality TV show that purported to allocate the kidneys from a dying woman to one of three contestants turned out to be a hoax: the woman was an actress, and the three patients that require a kidney transplant were aware of this fact.

The show was designed to raise awareness about the shortage of donor organs in the Netherlands. Approximately 200 people die each year waiting for a kidney transplant, and the average waiting time is more than four years.