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Theatre Delicatessen | Inspiring artists. Transforming spaces.
In September 2014, Theatre Delicatessen was the first theatre company to become officially accredited as a Living Wage employer. Making the announcement, Rhys Moore, director, Living wage Foundation, said:
“We are delighted to accredit Theatre Delicatessen as the first Living Wage theatre company. Their commitment to tackling the problem of poverty-wages is a practical demonstration of leadership in the sector.
“Low pay in London’s arts scene is a hot topic with Ritzy Cinema staff campaigning for a Living Wage and Sir Ian McKellen calling for actors to be rewarded reasonably for their work. All this comes at a time when theatre attendances in the capital are reported to be higher than for the whole of the Premier League put together.
“If an off-West End, fringe company can accredit, I see no reason why some of the big name West End venues and national companies should not follow suit. The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.”
The accreditation will see all of Theatre Delicatessen’s permanent staff receive the London Living Wage, which has recently been updated to £9.15 per hour. All temporary staff, such as box office attendants and bar staff who work for the company in the run up to, and during, performances will also receive the Living Wage rate.
Importantly all actors employed in Theatre Delicatessen productions, such as Pedal Pusher, will also receive at least the London Living Wage. Whilst staff employed at its venues in Sheffield and Gloucestershire will receive the UK Living Wage rate of £7.85 per hour.
Jessica Brewster one of Theatre Delicatessen’s founders, said:
“As a company we made a commitment to accredit as a Living Wage Employer as soon as it became a financial possibility.
“Ethically we believe that artists are entitled to a decent standard of living, just because someone chooses to follow a creative career path doesn’t mean that they should sign up to a lifetime of low pay.
“The Living Wage makes good business sense too. Due to the nature of theatre, companies like us often hire young actors, and temporary staff to support productions. We’ve been able to build a reliable, motivated and enthusiastic team who return to work with us. For us building a loyal team is an efficient way to work.”