Birmingham Stage Company

The Stage

01 September 2006

There are a couple of articles in The Stage this week about the BSC. One is an article about the BSC and its productions. The other concerns Jonathan Ogden, a promoter who booked THE JUNGLE BOOK to appear at the Bournemouth Pavilion and then decided he wouldn't pay us what he had agreed. A second payment of about £14,000!

Many people get into trouble in the theatre world at one time or another - the question is how do you deal with it? Most people would apologise and try to arrange a series of smaller payments until the debt was cleared. Mr Ogden's way of dealing with it was to avoid all our calls and emails and to disappear with the money he owed us and everyone else associated with the show - money he had taken at the box office but was refusing to hand over!

Meanwhile Equity were having the same problems in getting money which he owed to a stage manager for another production.

We heard nothing from him until we instructed our lawyers to see if they could do any better. Suddenly he has surfaced! Not to say he would pay us and not to apologise - but to propose an idea that he cuts us into the profits of a show he had to abort this year (with considerable debts) but plans to re-stage next year! Amazing! Needless to say, his offer hasn't proved overly tempting.

If he still refuses to pay up, we have instructed our lawyers to close down his company. At least he won't be able to do the same thing again to someone else. Not until he sets up another company under another name I suppose!

Why do people behave so badly? The profession is hard enough without people in it like Jonathan Ogden. At the very least, remember his name.

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