Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Come From Away producer insists performers must be vaccinated to return to stage

Come From Away producer insists performers must be vaccinated to return to stage
September 11, 2021

The producer of the award-winning musical Come From Away has said performers will have to be vaccinated before they return to the stage when NSW begins reopening next month.

With the production becoming the first Australian theatre company to mandate vaccinations, which also extends to the crew, Producer Rodney Rigby stated “we want to lead by example.

“We want to be a safe house and get back to work as fast as we possibly can.”

The move comes after productions on New York’s Broadway and in London’s West End introduced similar ‘no jab, no play’ rules for performers earlier this year.

Come From Away, which drew down the curtain at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre on 27th June , has been dogged by COVID shutdowns for its entire Australian run. It was closed down in Melbourne and Brisbane before being hit once again in Sydney.

Rigby told the Sydney Morning Herald “our employees have spent more time this year stood down without pay than working and we want to do everything we possibly can to create the safest possible working environment for everybody on Come From Away.

“It’s been devastating to us. We have only played to 7% of our potential audience in Sydney.”

Rigby said the production was on target to have almost all 60 performers and crew vaccinated by 4th October.

Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance Chief Executive, Paul Murphy said the union was in favour of vaccination for all workers “where it is reasonable and safe to do so”.

However, he urged employers not to rush the process, advising “they must engage with employees and contractors and explain their situation respectfully as consultation is critical to ensure everyone is informed and moving in the right direction.

“Every workplace will be different and it is not possible to make a blanket policy when there are so many variables.”

A spokesperson for NSW Health quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald said it was too soon to give definitive guidance on vaccine requirements for theatre performers but that there would be clarity on the issue once health orders were finalised.

Michael Cassel, the Australian Producer of Hamilton, said the NSW Government’s latest outline of its plans to ease out of lockdown “was pretty clear regarding what is required of audience and staff in venues so we’ll be adhering to that”.

He said plans for the resumption of performances would be announced soon.

Outgoing Opera Australia Chief Executive, Rory Jeffes said vaccination would be a “critical factor” for the company getting back to work, adding that OA was still consulting with employees about a potential vaccine mandate.

Image: The cast of Come From Away has been stood down without pay since June due to NSW’s Coronavirus lockdown.

Related Articles

10th September 2021 - Australian Vaccine Passports potentially ready within weeks

9th September 2021 - Gyms, stadiums and recreation facilities to reopen to fully vaccinated adults as part of NSW’s new roadmap to ‘freedom’

8th September 2021 - New Zealand Comedy Trust says nation’s alert level two ‘make it near impossible to plan ahead’

6th September 2021 - Leading entertainment promoters launch ‘Vax the Nation’ campaign

5th September 2021 - Calls for AFL fans to be banned from matches if they don’t have a COVID-19 vaccine

3rd September 2021 - Cancellations caused by ongoing lockdowns sees income of Victorian event businesses fall by 80%

30th August 2021 - Major venues pivot to become mass vaccination centres

29th August 2021 - What employers need to consider about vaccinations for staff and consumers

23rd August 2021 - Darwin Festival delivers successful 2021 event notwithstanding COVID challenges

26th August 2021 - National Cabinet to consider access to leisure for vaccinated Australians

20th August 2021 - Outback music festival organiser to demand proof of vaccination for attendees in 2022

11th August 2021 - Australian live entertainment groups call for federal insurance guarantee

11th August 2021 - Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena transforms into vaccination centre for HSC students

8th August 2021 - Australian entertainers highlight how Coronavirus has devastated lives and careers

30th July 2021 - Australia’s lockdowns to end once 80% of the population is vaccinated against COVID-19

28th July 2021 - Unvaccinated Australians could be barred from festivals, theatres and sport and entertainment venues

20th July 2021 - Victorian performing arts community launches advertisement backing COVID-19 vaccinations

13th July 2021 - Vaccine Passport could be on Phones by December

8th July 2021 - VMA says Australia getting vaccinated is the key to live entertainment industry’s road to recovery

2nd July 2021 - Hamilton and Come From Away cast and crew members stood down without pay during Sydney lockdown

16th June 2021 - Sunshine Coast live music venue owner critical of inconsistent COVID-19 safety rules

24th May 2021 - Live music venues in Sydney and NSW to receive government financial boost

25th March 2021 - Federal Government announces $135 million in funding for live entertainment

22nd March 2021 - Australian Live Music Business Council calls on government to ease COVID restrictions on venues

19th March 2021 - Live Performance Australia calls for 100% capacity in all live entertainment venues

14th October 2020 - Live entertainment industry counts the cost of COVID

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Our team believes floors should be beautiful, comfortable, and engineered for safety, even when wet. Life Floor tiles meet six unique performance based standards: slip-resistance, impact absorption,…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation / Safety / Surfaces



Clubware’s online gym software is not your run of the mill management system. It has been carefully designed to incorporate all the elements that a fitness club would need. How did we do that?…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Recreation



Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Design / Play / Waterparks


Fun Wheels Pty Ltd

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…

read more

Attractions / Tourism / Venues


SeatGeek Asia Pacific

SeatGeek is a search engine and mobile-focused ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell tickets for live events. As of August 2018, SeatGeek has exited the Australian, New…

read more

Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing / Venues



With its sleek good looks and easy-to-use yet powerful functionality, Envibe is the premium fitness club software for the Australasian leisure, recreation and fitness industry. We are the most…

read more

Aquatics / Fitness / Recreation / Technology



ICP is an Australian-based company focused on indoor climbing. ICP will manage your project from initial design to completion and beyond, whether you're building an international-level climbing…

read more

Attractions / Fitness / Recreation


Abel Sports

INTRODUCTION Abel Sports is Australia’s leading manufacturer and suppliers of Goal Posts, sports ground safety netting systems and coaches boxes for Stadiums ,Sports Clubs, Councils and…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business