The other side of the (C)Law.

This is a letter I received and I thought to be fair I should post it. All I have changed is to bold some parts that, for me, kind of stood out.

Hello Pat
I have only worked with you in a professional capacity and have huge respect for your work, but I am going to be quite candid here. I have worked with Colin for a long time and find this rather viscous and ongoing public attack quite distasteful. Just for the record there are a lot of people in the industry who are finding this extremely juvenile.
I think a business issue is one thing and unfortunately I think we all have them in this industry with various players, especially us as freelancers, but is it really necessary to mount such a personal and viscous attack on Colin. For whatever Colin’s faults are he is an independent producer who provides employment for a lot of people who work for him on a regular basis and he has done so for years.
I have seen some of the comments from people who i know are working or have recently worked for Colin and quite frankly I feel its very unprofessional to behave in this manner when you still will accept their money while slagging them off.
This whole issue brings our industry into disrepute and one thing i have learnt is that there are often 3 sides to a story.
I trust that you can understand where I am coming from.



My reply:

Hi Bridget – No not really! This is a guy  has personally ripped me off and has also ripped off a lot of people I know in the industry. The latest is a director who is owed over R40,000 from about 7 months ago. He is banned from Artscape for money owing from 6 years ago (R200,000) and has a high court judgement against him for around R100,000. In 3 days when the FB group went up asking how much he owed anybody we got close to 130 members in the 3 days. If you think this kind of unethical behaviour is good for the entertainment industry then I don’t know. It has been going on for over 35 years!!! Maybe in Johannesburg it has not been to bad but in Cape Town he has been a disaster.



Filed under Colin Law

7 responses to “The other side of the (C)Law.

  1. Came across this comment which I thought may give a bit of balance to the above. In fact it is a repeat of a comment on the original FB site sent by someone in Johannesburg. Make you think doesn’t it.

    Dominika – I just remembered something you might find humorous. Ill try to do this without getting anyone into trouble.
    At a certain highly reputable university in Cape Town, there is a highly reputable degree one can take in Theatre & Performance. In the final year of the degree, one is required to take a course called Professional Practice in the Theatre. In this course, students are repeatably warned to avoid any relations with Mr CLaw by the lecturers. How’s that for notoriety?

  2. Ashleigh Harvey

    Bridget, you say we are mounting a personal attack on Law. The mere fact that this site is labelled juvenile just shows the absolute ignorance of artists in this country with regard to their rights. This is an attack on Law’s policies. We are artists working in a country where our role, our work, our financial stability and the recognition of us as a group who contributes to the economy is severely lacking. Producers like Law continue to perpetuate this grave injustice to our industry. In London or America, where all artists are unionised, these kinds of indiscretions are unheard of. Producers like Law and the Barnyard, for that matter, are not allowed to participate in the system. Artists are protected and are supremely aware of their rights. You say that Law provides work. He is employing people, offering them a salary, putting them through rehearsals, putting them onstage (where serious artists sweat blood and tears) and then failing to pay these artists. This is not work. This is exploitation. Unless you have something valid to say, without emotion and which vindicates these producers on some level, your opinion holds little sway, and it quite laughable.

    • Bridget, quite the contrary. There are many people in this industry who feel that this site is long overdue and that finally someone has a backbone to publicise the indiscretions of Colin Law.
      Secondly, vicious is as vicious does.
      Thirdly, you are saying that occasionally (and in this case, very often) if a producer does not pay someone, it’s ok, so long as he provides work. The very term “work” means that one gets paid.
      Fourthly, “unprofessional” is the very word that comes to mind when I think of Colin Law who is still, amongst other things, liable for a court case from 1996; who claimed to have the rights to the Rocky Horror Show, getting Barnyard to forward him a fee when in fact he didn’t have the rights at all; and had the entire orchestra’s cheques bouncing in 2001.
      Fifth, there are members of this site who are currently working for Law. They have just lost an entire run of a show and a show’s salary they were counting on. That they are members of this site and also working for Law is no mystery.
      Sixth, our industry is already in disrepute due to producers like Colin Law and the Barnyard. All artists know it and say and do nothing. “Evil things happen when good men do nothing.”
      Well, finally we are doing something about it. It’s time all artists woke up and took a stand. If you don’t support the cause, you really have no right to bitch and complain in your dressing room. There are hundreds of you out there who aren’t going to work for Colin Law anyway because of his indiscretions, so why don’t you join us in fighting producers who take artists for granted so that future producers know what they’re up against. This is a forward-thinking venture, not simply an attack on one man. If we were in the U.K. the Barnyard and Colin Law would have been banned long ago.

  3. I am at a gig tonight and a member of Eden just told me that they refuse as a group to work for Colin Law. And as usual there was a long story… And so it goes… Law’s ghosts.

  4. Bryan

    Colin Law owes me R500 from 1988. That was a decent money in 1988. Hmmm…. imagine the fun of working out the sums… R500 plus 18 years interest.

    It was during that period of me working for him that he was wanted on Police File, the police show which used to be on TV.

    A few years back, he asked me to do some work for him and I said I would do it if he paid me in cash before the work was done. He got all defensive and huffy with me and said he would give me a check or an EFT. I told him that his checks weren’t worth the paper they are written and that I would only work on the basis of an EFT when the funds had actually cleared my account… NOT when he told me they had gone through.

    Whatever people have to say about Pieter T and his dismal salaries, the fact is, you get paid whatever has been agreed to. And you really can’t moan when you have agreed to thatl salary.

    For Bridget to say he gives a lot of people work is wonderful. But what she doesn’t add is that he doesn’t always pay them. I find it morally reprehensible and unconscionable that anyone has to beg and plead to get paid for their skills and services when the work has been done.

    How that man lives with himself and sleeps at night is beyond me.

  5. Nirvana

    Sorry! I was asked by the author of the comment to please take it down as he was being hassled via sms and e-mail by you know who!!

  6. Cyril

    Guys you do know that Bridget is actually CLaws neighbour at his home in Westdene and more than likely CLaw himself, just using her to say his piece . Apparently when things get really tricky he goes next door to eat meals at her place as the fridge sometimes remains empty for days …not that a strict diet isn t a bad idea.

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