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Andrew Lloyd Webber: Arts At The Point Of No Return

Andrew Lloyd Webber Arts At The Point Of No Return
By Michelle Sciarrotta

Following his continued efforts to reopen theatres by way of his involvement with safety testing and even trialling a new Covid-19 vaccine, Andrew Lloyd Webber has voiced his ongoing concerns that the arts are at the point of no return.

Recent Committee Meeting

Lord Lloyd Webber met with the Digital Culture Media and Sport Committee meeting earlier in September, sharing his results from experimental shows at the London Palladium in which he hoped to prove the safety of the pilot project.

Having funded the tests and been heavily involved with all stages of the trials, Webber has stated his confidence that the air quality in his theatres was “purer than the air outside.” In previous statements, both from Webber and from theatres and entertainment venues across the UK, there has been a unanimous consensus that opening at limited capacity was not going to be a viable option for the majority of situations.

Speaking with the DCMS meeting, Webber said:

“We simply have to get our arts sector back open and running. We are at the point of no return really. There comes a point now when we really can’t go on much more. Theatre is an incredibly labour-intensive business. In many ways putting on a show now is almost a labour of love. Very few shows hit the jackpot in the way a Hamilton, Lion King or Phantom Of the Opera do.”

Cinderella

Venting his frustration, Webber also hinted that his upcoming show Cinderella might run elsewhere, “where people are being a little more helpful”. The new musical is scheduled to premiere in March 2021, however, with Christmas shows still continuing to be cut as we fast approach the autumn, it’s easy to see why a March opening might bring scepticism to Webber and others alike.

While the latest update has taken a disappointing turn following what seemed to be largely positive developments at the end of August with the socially-distanced reopening of some West End shows such as Sleepless, there is a little bit of light in the form of a new teaser from Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Performing a stripped-back version of a brand new song Far Too Late, Webber released both the performance and his ever-ready stance on the industry this week. The video starts with titles “Filmed at Her Majesty’s Theatre, home to the Phantom Of the Opera for 34 years pre-lockdown.” Webber also introduces the performance by saying:

“Let’s dedicate it to the government, and the governments of various other countries, and say it’s getting to the point where it is far too late. We want to get back to the theatre again; we want to be open.”

Far Too Late performed by Carrie Hope Fletcher & Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella is the exciting new musical comedy starring Carrie Hope Fletcher, set to completely reinvent the world’s best-loved fairytale when it opens in London’s West End in April 2021. Featuring a brand new score by the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Oscar-nominated David Zippel, with a script from Killing Eve’s Emerald Fennell.

Get ready for Cinderella… like you’ve never seen her before.

Find out more

Also by Michelle Sciarrotta:

Andrew Lloyd Webber Continues Efforts To Reopen Theatres

Alice Smart: Interview with a London based Costume Constructor

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