Musical tycoon Andrew Lloyd Webber has threatened to sue the UK government if theatres are unable to fully reopen on 21 June.
The Daily Mail recently reported that the composer fears any delay to the fourth stage of the lockdown roadmap due to the recent spread of Covid could be the “final death blow” to the industry.
He says that whilst he doesn’t want to, taking legal action is something he “would have to consider” after the government’s own scientists said theatres are safe.
Webber says that he will do anything that the government ask to get theatres fully open but insists that “we must be at 100%.”
Currently, theatres in England can open to 1,000 people, or 50% capacity, depending on which is lower. For many, this is financially impossible and lots of theatres have remained closed despite indoor events being permitted from May.
Hopes of theatres reopening fully have grown after numerous test-events took place over the past two months.
A snooker event held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield saw just four Covid cases in 17 days. Similarly, there were no cases recorded after the Brit awards in May, where 4,000 audience members could mix without masks or social distancing.
Arts and Culture secretary Oliver Dowden branded these tests events as “a real success,” and added he was “very hopeful” to see the West End “lighting up again” on 21 June.
Words by Tom Charlesworth.
Support The Indiependent
We’re trying to raise £200 a month to help cover our operational costs. This includes our ‘Writer of the Month’ awards, where we recognise the amazing work produced by our contributor team. If you’ve enjoyed reading our site, we’d really appreciate it if you could donate to The Indiependent. Whether you can give £1 or £10, you’d be making a huge difference to our small team.