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Bodyguard DVD felled by Equity pay push

Alexandra Burke in The Bodyguard at the Adelphi Theatre in London. Photo: Alessandro Pinna
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Plans for a DVD recording of the live West End production of The Bodyguard have been shelved, after union Equity blocked the proposal based on the money performers were being offered.

The move has prompted an angry reaction from leading agent Stuart Piper, who represents Alexandra Burke, the current star of the West End production.

It is understood that producers Michael Harrison and David Ian had been looking to release a DVD of the production, starring Burke, which closes at the end of August before embarking on a UK tour.

However, following negotiations with Equity and agents, the plans were dropped.

Equity spokesman Martin Brown said the a DVD such as the one proposed for The Bodyguard would typically be produced using a pay deal under an agreement it has with producers’ body PACT.

However, he said the producers had suggested they would not be able to pay the rates offered under that agreement.

“We had discussions with them, to see if we could help them. We were wiling to be flexible and work with the producers to bridge the gap between the PACT agreement and what was being offered. But while we are flexible, sometimes there is a gap that just cannot be bridged,” he said.

However, Piper said the blocking of the deal meant “a good opportunity has been wasted”.

“We represent three of the cast members of The Bodyguard, including Alexandra Burke. But I can confirm that the terms offered even for our other two clients – which were favoured nations with the rest of the cast, [meaning they were all offered the same deal] – were more favourable than many DVD deals I have happily accepted,” he said.

He added: “In this instance, I would be disappointed if Equity claimed this a victory, as a deal not going through is rarely a victory. I like to see our clients earning money, and being recorded on celluloid forever, I don’t like good opportunities being wasted.”

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