Andrew Lloyd Webber ‘considers legal action’ if theatre opening delayed

Andrew Lloyd Webber is considering legal action if theatres aren’t allowed to fully reopen this month (Picture: Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)

Andrew Lloyd Webber has revealed he may consider legal action if the reopening of theatres is pushed back further amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The musical theatre impresario, 73, has been vocal about the struggles theatres and the Arts have faced amid the pandemic, and believes a further delay to the reopening of theatres could be the ‘final death blow’ for the sector. 

At present, theatres are expected to be allowed to operate at full capacity on June 21, but this date may be subject to change depending on how the pandemic progresses. 

While theatres were able to open at a reduced capacity since last month, the restrictions have meant it was not financially viable for many venues. 

Andrew told the Daily Mail that if theatres are stopped from fully reopening, the issue becomes ‘what is the legality of the whole thing?’. 

He explained: ‘If the Government’s own science has told them that buildings are safe… I’m advised that at that point things could get quite difficult.

Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/Kieron McCarron/REX (11806354af) Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. 'All Star Musicals' TV Show, UK - 21 Mar 2021 All Star Musicals, is a British ITV entertainment special in which a line-up of six celebrities embark on the ultimate musical theatre masterclass - culminating in a show stopping one-night extravaganza. Actress Jessica Hynes, barrister and broadcaster Robert Rinder, actor Barney Walsh, political journalist Robert Peston, doctor and presenter Dr Ranj Singh, and actress Luisa Bradshaw-White aim to impress the virtual audience, and the star panel of Elaine Paige, Trevor Dion Nicholas (Hamilton, Aladdin) and Samantha Barks (Les Miserables, Frozen), with John Barrowman back as the show?s host.

The musical theatre impresario has been vocal about the struggles the Arts have faced amid the pandemic (Picture: ITV/Kieron McCarron/REX)

‘This is the very last thing that anybody wants to do, but there would become a legal case at that point because it’s their science – not ours. I would passionately hope that we don’t have to, but I think we would have to consider it.’

The composer added that he would be happy to ask theatre-goers to wear masks following the success of Government trials at indoor events.

There have been multiple test events including the World Snooker Championships at Sheffield’s Crucible, which Andrew added had ‘shown there is no increased risk of transmission of Covid in a theatre.’

Andrew’s production of Cinderella is set to open at the Gillian Lynne theatre in the West End later this month but the complete lifting of restriction on June 21 depends on the impact of Covid variants on case numbers and deaths. 

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