Watch Andrew Lloyd Webber Speak on Cinderella, COVID-19 Restrictions, More

Video   Watch Andrew Lloyd Webber Speak on Cinderella, COVID-19 Restrictions, More
 
The composer recently canceled the opening of his new musical.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber Monica Simoes

Less than 24 hours after Andrew Lloyd Webber canceled the opening of his Cinderella musical, the composer and theatre megaproducer held a press conference on stage at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. In a video posted on Twitter by LBC, Lloyd Webber singled out the U.K. government as the main reason why theatre was struggling in the U.K. Watch it below.

“I just felt like with the guidelines as they are, we simply wouldn’t go ahead,” he says. “What I can’t get to grips with is that our government does not understand that theatre is the life blood of our cities. Every other country in the world seems to have done so. America completely has grasped this. This government doesn't understand, it’s not just about even our actors. It is about all of the small people who depend on us. It’s everybody from the taxi drivers to the restaurants to the people who work, the dry cleaners even, it’s an endless list and they seem to not understand that theatre is a huge revenue earner for the country.”

“We can’t go on like this,” he said later. “Theatre is now on its knees. There’s no way forward...Just allow us to get on with our job... We cannot function with this current system. We can’t isolate every time someone may or may not have it. It simply doesn’t work.”

Lloyd Webber later opened the gates for Cinderella to open eventually, but no real timeline was presented. “Who knows when we will open [in London]? 2084?,” he said, according to The Telegraph.


Read the full statement below (some parts have been edited for clarity and style).

“I just felt like with the guidelines as they are, at the moment, that we simply wouldn’t go ahead...we can’t carry on like this, we simply can't. I am thinking of our audiences, yet again we’ve had to say to them, ‘Sorry we can’t perform.' It’s just no longer viable, it’s just completely untenable.

“I’m now talking as Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer, and friend of this cast, and all of the people who have been working on our show, but also talking as Andrew Lloyd Webber, a passionate lover of theatre. What I can’t get to grips with is that our government does not understand that theatre is the life blood of our cities. Every other country in the world seems to have done so. America completely has grasped this. This government doesn't understand, it’s not just about even our actors. It is about all of the small people who depend on us. It’s everybody from the taxi drivers to the restaurants to the people who work, the dry cleaners even, it’s an endless list, and they seem to not understand that theatre is a huge revenue earner for the country.

“Shows like Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, for example, they play all around the world, and the revenue comes back into the country, and I question that the country does not seem to grasp it. I would like to just make one plea because I have tried and tried and tried... I held pilots, we demonstrated how we theatres can be safe. This building in here has got 100 percent fresh air, the best ventilation system you can find. We’ve demonstrated all of this, but I’d like to make one last plea to them: We can’t go on like this. Theatre is now on its knees.

“There’s no way forward. I’ve just heard...one other major show is not going to be opening on schedule. This is another big one, I can’t say what it is, it’s up to them... I just beg them to realize, we have testing systems...we have every single thing we could possibly have in place to keep our cast, backstage crew, audiences safe. Just allow us to get on with our job... We cannot function with this current system. We can’t isolate every time someone may or may not have it. It simply doesn’t work.”

Click Here to Shop for Theatre
Merchandise in the Playbill Store
 
Today’s Most Popular News: