The father of musicals, Andrew Lloyd Webber, claims that he has viewed a new government report that may limit singing in future theatre shows. In response, Webber has scheduled a trial of live performances in July, to find a solution.
Utilising one of his many properties, the London Palladium will house the first tests. Choosing a venue that seats 2300 people, Webber is ambitious, stressing that his aim is “to prove that they [theatres] can reopen”. Rebutting new government advice that directors and producers should prevent singing, Webber spoke for a nation of Musical-lovers on BBC Radio 4 yesterday morning.
“I have seen a report on theatre, and I don’t know what’s going to be in the report that’s supposed to be coming out on Monday, but I sincerely hope it doesn’t contain some of things that I have seen in their advice. One of the things was a brilliant one for musicals: you aren’t allowed to sing.”
Trialling safety measures, such as self-cleaning door handles and anti-viral spray, the aim is to avoid social distancing within theatres. If venues continue to stay out of service, this could mean many closures across the country, and a business left in complete financial ruin.
With newfound hope, the performance industry is looking up to Webber for a solution and receiving his message to “stay positive”.
Words by Harriet Fisk.