INTERVIEW WITH LUCINDA HARVEY

Lucinda Harvey is Head of Employment Relations at The Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre.

What does Employment Relations mean and who do you work with on a day to day basis?
Employment Relations is an updated term which describes the general context of employing people and negotiating terms and conditions for their employment with the entertainment unions.  It means I spend a lot of my time solving issues to do with employing people and coming up with solutions for negotiations that SOLT & UK Theatre has with Equity, the MU, BECTU and the Writers Guild.  Resolving any problems means having a good background knowledge of theatre mixed with knowing what makes people tick; and what they might want. And then it's simply coming up with an answer that might have a financial constraint - it's harder than you think! Sometimes I have to persuade – and cajole.  And sometimes I have to shout – so it’s quite useful to have an office door that I can shut and the people I work with don’t have to hear how rude I might have to be in order to get a point across!

I work with every level of job in every type of organisation in the commercial and subsidised sector in the West End and throughout the UK.  I also work with union officials and a small – and a marvellous team of a part-time Employment Relations Co-ordinator and a Legal and Employment Relations Administrator.  Day-to-day I can speak to a whole range of people – a Production Assistant or an Executive Director or a Company, General or Technical Manager or a Musical Fixer – you name it, I speak to them. 

What does Stage One mean to you?
Stage One is a brilliant thing.  I think it is vital for new producers to be represented in this very small and established world and anything and everything that can encourage new producers to make exciting and creative theatre that people enjoy going to is excellent in my book. 

Last show you saw and loved?
Cartoonopolis at the Liverpool Everyman.  A one man show written by a 19 year old about his autistic brother who lives in a world of cartoon characters.

What would you like to achieve this year?
This question sounds like Miss World so I am going to be fatuous and say world peace!  But if you are asking me about work achievements, it will be to keep going on my eternal journey of making sure that the contracts are fit for purpose in the modern day.

What's the best piece of advice you could give to an emerging producer?
Have integrity and a good moral code – and stick to it, whatever, so that people know who you are.  Not only is this is a small business where word of mouth can travel fast, but you will be making decisions on the hoof – so to know what you stand for and what you think is defendable and reasonable is vital.  And listen!  You will learn much more about what people want if you listen.

Find out more about The Society of London Theatre
Find out more about UK Theatre