Producing Wonderland or Stealing It?

Becky Mary (@beckyymary) talks about the alleged reasons behind the recent closing of wonderland in relation to producers

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So as many of us have found out over the last few days that Wonderland the UK tour was cancelled for its final weeks after performing last in Milton Keynes Theatre.  At that moment in time we had not heard anything about what was happening in reality behind the curtain (sorry cheesy I know but it’s true).

Many things have been said about the reason as to why this show closed with us first being lead to believe it was due to the technical supplier pulling out. This left us very confused as we just wanted a straight answer, and also people who had booked tickets were left on the edge as to whether there was a show or not.  Finally, it has come to light that the possible and most likely reason for the cancellation of this tour is down to the producer. The producer of a show oversees every part of a production, from paying the actors to making sure all costumes are in working condition.  As well as this, the producer has control of the finances of a show. This is a trusted role which you would expect would be filled by someone who has successfully been able to fulfill the role before.

When I personally got the chance to go backstage, I found that the cast costumes were being sewn together including socks (seriously! something so readily available) because they couldn’t afford to be replaced. I was shocked to find that after the show’s premature closure, multiple actors were asked if they wanted to buy their costume. You can imagine how many of them felt considering the fact that apparently, the actors haven’t even been paid for their work.  Now this cannot be confirmed officially. But as can be seen below from twitter posts, actors were quite happy to post about how they have been let down by the producer.

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no pay

Some family members and friends have even outed the producer and have said how it has affected performers. Some performers have talked about the reality of how they are left with nothing, describing that they are ‘Skint but free’. A common theme through all of this though is that the blame is going towards one area and they are not letting it go, some making sure that it doesn’t happen again.

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Now, you would think that this hasn’t happened before. But sadly enough it has allegedly happened before with the same producer, affecting the cast and crew.. A lot of people called to Equity. In contrast we could argue that if Equity knew of this producer’s previous endeavours, why was he allowed to be involved in a massive UK tour?

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So what does this mean? Basically this will most likely be the start of many legal battles over the next few weeks and months. This ultimately shows us that sometimes when you pay for a ticket, it is not going where it should be going. Instead of it going to actors and crews who work tirelessly for months on end to produce what we see on stage, it sometimes goes to dodgy producers.

I think we all hope that the producer in question, who has not been named for obvious reasons, is dealt with accordingly and the actors and creatives are paid what they deserve, and go on to do well in other jobs that truly appreciate them.

 

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