Members of the Musicians’ Union (MU) are planning demonstrations against a touring version of Dirty Dancing after the show axed its live band in favour of a backing track.
Protests will take place outside shows in Northampton Stoke-On-Trent and Wolverhampton, beginning tonight (October 31) at the former’s Royal & Derngate theatre complex.
“An unauthorised recording, made outside of the UK, is being used in this show instead of the live band of 10 or eight musicians used in previous productions,” said an MU statement. “This show features only five actor-musicians and, whilst there is some live music, the majority of what is heard 'out front' is a pre-recorded soundtrack. This is not clear to the audience, who might expect the music in a theatre production to be played live.
"Despite this scaled-back production, ticket prices remain comparable with all previous tours of Dirty Dancing.”
The show’s producer Paul Elliott previously told the BBC: "We do not refer... to the production as a 'musical' and always request that it is not advertised as such.
“Many other shows have used tracks on tour - many without employing any live musicians - without their producers suffering any of the current actions of the Musicians Union towards Dirty Dancing.”