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Andrew Lloyd Webber vows to open in West End this summer 'whatever it takes'

Sydmonton composer calls for level playing field with pubs and restaurants

Sydmonton composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has come out fighting against the continued closure of theatres, declaring his determination to open in the West End on July 14 "whatever it takes" and has taken to social media to announce he is currently in rehearsals for his West End show Cinderella.

“I am buoyed by the Government roadmap announcement and am absolutely prepared to do my part to get theatre open again this summer,” he said on Twitter.

Lord Lloyd-Webber intends to go ahead with Cinderella, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Phantom of the Opera in July but warns it will take a six-week lead in to get the shows up and running. And it would be impossible financially to open at less than 100 per cent capacity.

On BBC Breakfast this morning (Monday) he said: “We can’t go on. We’ve got wonderfully ventilated buildings – we’ve just got to open.”

He warned that it was time theatres and music venues should be considered on "a level playing field" with pubs and restaurants and not be singled out.

While he wouldn’t consider opening in any way irresponsibly, he would want a “really good scientific reason” not to open if these other venues were allowed to before theatres. If it came to that “we have to challenge it,” he said.

He felt the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, was “doing his very best” and hoped it wouldn’t get to a point of legal challenge, but “we’d need a really good reason why we couldn’t open.”

“We’ve got to get theatres open up and down the country.”

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