Andrew Lloyd Webber May Not Be Able to Afford to Do More New Musicals
By Adam Hetrick
In an interview prior to the opening of his new musical Stephen Ward, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber told the Evening Standard that he didn't believe he had the finances to continue to produce large-scale musicals in the West End.
The prolific composer, who's last bonafide hit was The Phantom of the Opera, stated, "Now we live in a different age of blockbusters. I was lucky to have a couple 25, 30 years ago. It would be very different now. The costs of doing musicals have risen absolutely hugely. I don’t think I’ve got enough money to do very many more."
Lloyd Webber also shared that he felt most of the subjects for his musicals were uncommercial topics, resulting in musicals that were "entirely uncommercial." While they haven't proven to be box-office hits, Lloyd Webber's post-Phantom musicals, including Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard, Whistle Down the Wind and Love Never Dies, have amassed legions of fans.
"It's extremely difficult to know why a musical works and whether it will work," he said. "With hindsight I can see Phantom of the Opera is a great commercial subject. I didn’t think of it as that."
"I haven’t had a hit in 20 years," Lloyd Webber continued. "I've written six musicals in that time. I'm resigned now to the fact that anything I do probably nobody is going to like."
The composer also stated that he was very pleased with Stephen Ward, his new musical based on the Profumo Affair. "It’s an amazing piece of work. Whether it’s a commercial piece of work is another question."
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