Cameron Mackintosh lays of staff

Cameron Mackintosh has made more than 850 of his staff redundant. Two of the West End producer’s companies – Cameron Mackintosh Ltd and Delfont Mackintosh Theatres – are cutting staff due to COVID-19 closures.

The news was reported by trade union BECTU, which reprents people working in boadcasting, entertainment and communications. The union said that Mackintosh has refused to take advantage of government schemes that would have prevented the redundancies.

Commented BECTU head Philippa Childs: “The entire industry has been shocked by Cameron Mackintosh’s unwillingness to use the coronavirus job retention scheme in full or deploy resources beyond the furlough months to support his backstage and front of house staff.

“Other West End employers have done their utmost to find creative ways to safeguard the livelihoods of their staff and pursue the bigger mission of saving the world class skills and talents critical to the success of theatres up and down the country.”

In a statement released in June, Mackintosh blamed the UK government for not providing more support: “Despite the government engaging with the desperate pleas from everyone in the theatre industry, so far there has been no tangible practical support beyond offers to go into debt which I don’t want to do…this has forced me to take drastic steps to ensure that I have the resources for my business to survive.”

Mackintosh has produced numerous West End successes, including Les Misérables and Hamilton, while Delfont Mackintosh owns eight West End theatres.

Neither of Mackintosh’s companies have commented on the redundancies.