Story at a glance
- Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber said he will open his six London theaters on June 21 “come hell or high water.”
- London has been planning to ease COVID-19 restrictions on June 21, but rising cases and the emergence of unknown variants might delay the lift.
- Lloyd Webber said if the gathering restrictions aren’t lifted soon he might need to sell his theaters.
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has announced he will open his six London theaters on June 21 “come hell or high water,” even if he gets arrested for violating social distancing protocols in the process.
Lloyd Webber, 73, told The Daily Telegraph he will also move forward with the previews for his production of “Cinderella” the last week of June.
London has been planning to ease COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing on June 21, but with rising cases and the emergence of some unknown variants, the United Kingdom has said it might delay the lift.
However, Lloyd Webber has claimed to have “seen the science from the tests, don’t ask me how” and said that the opening would be safe.
“If the government ignores their own science, we have the mother of all legal cases against them,” he said. “If ‘Cinderella’ couldn’t open, we’d go, ‘Look, either we go to law about it or you’ll have to compensate us.’”
The possibility of being fined or arrested doesn’t faze the composer, who said the authorities can “come to the theatre and arrest us” but that he will still be opening the theaters.
Lloyd Webber said he remortgaged his home and that if the government doesn’t allow higher-capacity gatherings soon, he might need to sell his theaters.
“Unfortunately,” he said, “the government regards theater as a nice thing to have rather than a necessity.”
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