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Producers Close London Musical Without an Orchestra

May 2, 1987

LONDON (AP) _ The London production of the musical ″Cabaret″ closed Friday night after a valiant two-night struggle to carry on without music because the orchestra had walked out in a labor dispute.

The closure put the show’s stars Wayne Sleep and Toyah Willcox and 83 other people out of work.

The angry actors at once assembled in the Strand Theater and called on the casts of other West End shows to take sympathy action.

Five musicians were fired three days ago for allegedly playing too loud and out of tune, and their union ordered the rest of the orchestra to walk out.

Thursday night the cast played to an audience of 51 dotted around the 897- seat Strand.

Producer Willy Hancock said losses were about $13,200 a night after the orchestra walked out.

″Cabaret″ opened in July to mixed reviews and was expected to run at least through October, with the hope of a national tour in 1988.

Friday night, the actors urged their union, Equity, to make an urgent protest to the Musicians’ Union.

″There is no hope unless Equity helps us,″ Miss Willcox said as she left the Strand.

Cast member Paul Hegerty said: ″We would like to see the whole of the West End come out on strike if it means this sort of thing will never happen again.″

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