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Advice to Production Clients regarding Coronavirus

Last Updated: 18th March 2020

Due to the rapid nature of this pandemic the advice provided on this page is no longer accurate but has been kept for archive purposes.

eStage is working with all clients to close down or postpone all current work as advised by the government and will be developing plans for the future when theatres can reopen. Please keep an eye on our website for more updates in the future. In these times it is vital we all stay safe, and as always we will work to ensure all our freelancers are supported as much as they can be in these difficult times.

In line with the rest of the industry we are looking at all our work at the moment and considering the potential impacts of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the government potentially stepping up their response to the issue. Below is our evolving position on this, which we will continue to update as the situation develops.

As we see it the three key risks for our production managers. These are:

  • The forced closure of theatres due to government guidelines;
  • Cancellation of shows due to reduced ticket sales;
  • The impact of self-isolation of production managers and crew.


As a result of these risks we have implemented the following policy updates, operational changes, and recommendations for production budgets.

We recommend all those involved productions in rehearsals and performance follow the NHS guidelines on self isolation, hand washing, and travel. For the latest information please visit the NHS website. We will be providing advice sheets to all productions shortly.

  • During this period we have agreed that Force Majure would apply to any existing contracts should Government force the closure of Venues, please note any fees and production spending made up to that point would still be owed;
  • If a show is cancelled, we would treat this as a termination of the contract and this would follow the cancellation terms outlined. There is, however, an understanding here that in some cases this may be considered force majure, but that would be dependant on the specific circumstances.
  • We will be reducing our spending liabilities on individual productions. Any expenses incurred over this period will require a production deposit or suitable covering of expenses. At this time, we will be issuing invoices to all Clients for any outstanding expenses.
  • We will be advising our Production Managers to issue contracts for all ‘penciled in’ work as soon as possible.
  • We are committed to providing as much support and stability to our Freelancers and Crew as possible and would like to work with all our Clients to discuss what levels of support they can provide to freelancers impacted by self-isolation.
  • We are considering new recommendations for payment terms to better suit the work completed by our production managers for you.

Operational Changes

  • We are working hard to assess the impacts of a Production Manager being required to self-isolate and considering the impact of on work that needs to be conducted in person as a result (i.e. Get-Ins, Tech Periods etc.).
  • We are advising any Production Manager who has been asked to Self-Isolate to do so. We are considering how we can support them in their contractual obligations to productions, and also if as a Collective we can offer support should this situation arise.
  • We will be continuing to investigate ways to mitigate risks in ways such as a reduction in travel for Production Managers. As a result, we may increase the number of meetings conducted using the Google Hangouts voice/video call software, but will follow Government advice on travelling via Public Transport.
  • We will work with Venues to understand how we can reduce risk whilst working there, including working with crews to ensure regular hand-washing and providing hand sanitiser when required.

Show-specific Considerations

  • We are also noting the potential impacts on production budgets due to changes in supplier policies impacting costs in various areas, we will work with shows where this may be relevant on a case by case basis.
  • We are recommending with all our shows that we carefully assess budgets for productions pre-final model to increase contingency levels and potentially discuss reducing spending if needed. For shows already costed we will work with you to understand the potential risks in these. In all cases we recommend that we consider higher contingency across all budget lines.
  • We would also like to spend some time with each of you to understand your current positions or plans for different scenarios so we can factor these into longer term business planning.

If you have any questions about any of the above please contact us.

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