Andrew Lloyd Webber 'will risk arrest' to fully reopen theatres
Sydmonton impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber has made it clear that he is determined to open his theatres on June 21 and risk being arrested if authorities try to intervene, telling the Telegraph: "We are going to open, come hell or high water".
The live events industry has been hit hard by the pandemic and many theatres have remained closed despite the easing of restrictions, as reduced capacity is not financially viable.
The rise of Covid variants has now put the possible lifting of restrictions on Monday, June 21, in doubt.
The composer’s new production of Cinderella is scheduled to open on June 25 for previews before its world premiere in July.
Lord Lloyd-Webber has also revealed he has already remortgaged his London home and he may be forced to sell his six West End theatres if the Government doesn’t relax restrictions.
Speaking passionately on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning (Wednesday), he said: “I believe that this is the Government’s moment to show that they really do care about the musicians and the actors and all who work in live events.”
He pleaded with the Government to stop “penalising the poor live music and theatre sector”, adding: “Why is it that we are always the last to open when it is quite clear that we are probably the least likely to pass on any infection?
“We can open safely, please, please let us get open”.