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13-hour rehearsal. Would you complain??

(25 Posts)
kitnkaboodle Sun 25-Oct-15 19:53:55

My son is currently at a rehearsal for a show that opens on Weds. Today he was required to go to a rehearsal with the band at 10am. Most of the rest of the cast were called for 1pm. Then they were going to have a long technical rehearsal. When we dropped him off at 10 we were told that pick-up time should be 10pm (I guess they were going to do a complete run-through of the show at the end). We've now learned that they expect it to finish at 11pm. He's 11. Is this OK??? He's texted me during the day and seems OK with it, if a little gobsmacked at how late he's expected to stay. I've lost the plot with it all a bit as most people involved with this show are all-absorbed by it. I WAS going to post in AIBU, but changed to here to avoid outing myself. However, if I've still outed myself then - people in charge - I do plan on raising this with you later!

balletgirlmum Sun 25-Oct-15 19:56:38

Is it with school or an amateur/youth theatre group.

Childrens hours in theatre are strictly regulated & that's way over the permitted hours.

balletgirlmum Sun 25-Oct-15 19:58:10

To give you an idea when dd was in pro panto they had to send all the kids home at 10pm on tech day. They had been in the theatre since 2pm. The rest of the cast stayed.

balletgirlmum Sun 25-Oct-15 20:00:29

Assuming it's not a school show children under 14 have to be finished by 10pm unless things run over AND the chaperone in charge agrees the child is up to it AND it doesn't happen more than so many tunes a week & they havnt reached their maximum permitted hours.

BeStrongAndCourageous Sun 25-Oct-15 20:01:41

That's entirely typical for a tech and dress - for adults. I wouldn't want child performers hanging around that long, wearing themselves out.

Admittedly, an awful lot of their day is likely to be spent hanging around waiting to be needed while the tech crew sort stuff out, but I still think it's too long a day for kids.

kitnkaboodle Sun 25-Oct-15 20:56:19

Oh yes, forgot to say - it's an amateur youth group. They seem to have lost the plot this year, as in previous years there was a certain amount of child protection with no-one rehearsing beyond 10pm and only doing a certain number of hours each day. I understand that a professional theatre would probably be a lot less demanding!!

Bestrong - yes, I feel the same as you. If you're an adult you suck it up and appreciate that you're going to be there all day and maybe til 11pm or beyond. They don't seem to have made any allowances for the fact that this is a cast of kids, not adults.

So ... would you complain if it was your 11 year old??

BeStrongAndCourageous Sun 25-Oct-15 21:00:46

Yes, I think I would.

LIZS Sun 25-Oct-15 21:01:19

Do they not require a performance licence for the show? Many amateur productions do if for a paying audience and more than 2 performances. There is a limit on rehearsal hours as well as performances, including clear breaks and time away from the theatre.

balletgirlmum Sun 25-Oct-15 21:13:03

The law on hours recently changed but they can do up to 4 non licensed performances in a 6 month period without a licence.

I havnt got the updated regulations in front of me (I'm a licensed chaperone but havnt done much recently) but I'm almost certain that number of hours is against the law.

yeOldeTrout Sun 25-Oct-15 21:41:36

I think DD had a rehearsal like this last year, secondary school production (musical). It was gruelling & almost everyone was in tears by the end. There were small children there (8yo?)

tbh, I think it's par for the course with ambitious theatre. I went to a performing arms school, it sounds like what we did, too on final rehearsal day.

DD's group did stop for meals & breaks. There's a lot of larking about, really, so much of the time nearly all of them are on the premises but not actively rehearsing.

balletgirlmum Sun 25-Oct-15 21:52:11

Academic schools & full time performing arts schools are exempt from the regulations.

bloodyteenagers Sun 25-Oct-15 21:58:56

I complained and kicked up a huge fuss a few years ago.
Amateur thing and they wanted the children in from 9am until gone 11pm.. I told them over my fucking dead body and they need to work under the rules set out by the local authority.. Quick google told me who to complain to.
The amateur group thought I was kidding.
What I found out was they can be in the theatre from 10-10.. However they are also limited on the time they can rehearse and perform. And there is also very lengthy breaks between. Something like 2.5 performing/rehearsing and minimum 1.5 hours break.. Over the 12 hour period a max of 5 hours working.. Then a 14 hour break (the kids were expected to be in at 9 for 5 days)

balletgirlmum Sun 25-Oct-15 22:17:54

Yes, Education Welfare a Officers can & do , do spot checks. And they are bound to investigate complaints.

NewLife4Me Sun 25-Oct-15 22:24:28

God I hate amateurs.
All this is ridiculous for something on an amateur stage.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 29-Oct-15 21:11:10

As balletgirl said performing arts schools where the show is part of the curriculum are exempt and this kind of crazy multi hour day is a regular thing.
I would strongly suspect the amateur group have done new people who think for some reason the regulations don't apply to them.
My DD attends performing arts school and an amateur musical theatre group so we get both sides sometimes back to back weekends.

Devilishpyjamas Sun 01-Nov-15 20:41:57


Ds2 has been in pro theatre & very strictly regulated & adhered to (film sets can be a damn law unto themselves ime though). His latest theatre rehearsals finished at 10pm & I felt that was pushing it tbh.

Witchend Tue 10-Nov-15 14:21:52

Contact your local Children in employment office for the guidelines and express concern. There should be one available on the county website.

If I remember rightly, he's limited at that age to 8 hours maximum and that has to include an hour's break.

He should also be registered with the office (as should all other under 16s) and if he has performed in the last 6 months for payment also will need a licence.

They should also be accompanied at all times by a trained chaperone and signed in and out by you or another responsible adult.

He also should not be at the theatre after 10:30 at the outside. I have walked a group of children out saying tough luck to the director because they are not allowed to be there that late.

danceteacheruk Wed 11-Nov-15 17:56:03

Irrespective of whether the production is amateur or professional, no child should be attending a 13 hour day of rehearsals. It is not ambiguous, there is no excuse, it is ILLEGAL! There are very strict guidelines on the amount of hours children are permitted to do...

Children under 5: May be in the venue for a maximum of 5 hours in any one day, of which, only 2 hours can be actual rehearsal or performance time.

Children 5 to 9: Maybe be in the venue for up to 8 hours, of which 3 hours can be rehearsal/performance time.

Children 10 to school leaving age: May be in the venue for up to 9 1/2 hours, to include a maximum of 5 hours of rehearsal/performance.

KATE3003 Wed 18-Oct-17 14:40:39

Sorry to re - ignite this thread but also facing a similar issue... My child is being asked to attend 5 hour rehearsals on a school night from 5 - 10. I would not mind if it was a Friday or weekend but it is early in the week... I have seen the guidelines aboout 9 1/2 hours at venue but does this apply on days they have been at school all day....She is 10.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 18-Oct-17 15:59:44

The guidelines say not more than 9.5 hours at the venue and not more than 5 hours actually performing. There no particular regulations on whether it is a school day or not.

TheatreTaxi Wed 18-Oct-17 18:56:13

Those sort of hours are par for the course in professional theatre, even on a school night. DS (11) has done extended stints in 2 West End shows, both of which finish after 10pm. Once every few weeks he would perform matinee and evening shows on the same weekday. He was still expected to be at school on time the next morning.

It's one reason why many professional shows will only audition children who live within a certain time or distance limit from the theatre.

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 19-Oct-17 13:36:38

sorry kate it does seem to be allowed that they have to go to school then be at rehearsals or show until 10pm. we get this with panto. we have school days from 9-1 and then theatre from 2-10. I don't really agree with it but it is usually once or twice in the whole run. there is a limit on number of hours in the theatre but not on whether they have to go to school in addition to those hours

TheatreTaxi Thu 19-Oct-17 13:55:58

When working under licence, children are required to undertake a minimum of 15 hours' schooling per week. In theory, as long as they're clocking up 15 hours in a week, a child could skip a morning of school before a 9.5 hour session in the theatre. In practice, missing more school than is necessary is often counter-productive because the child then has to catch up on all the work done in their absence, often without the benefit of as much teacher input. For this reason, in my experience it's better for the child to be at school, even it they are more tired than usual.

KATE3003 Thu 19-Oct-17 20:31:26

Thanks everyone... She goes on to panto straight after this show finishes so am just panicking about all the different things adding up. I have at least made sure now that she will get time to have tea so feeling a little better about it....

dancinfeet Fri 20-Oct-17 22:02:55

For a professional show, these kind of hours are standard. For an amateur show they are unreasonable!

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