Andrew Lloyd Webber vows West End show will open ‘come hell or high water’ on July 14 despite Freedom day delay fears

ANDREW Lloyd Webber has vowed that his new West End show will open “come hell or high water” despite fears that Freedom day may be delayed.

The famous composer’s £6million musical Cinderella is due to hold its world premiere on July 14 at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London.

Jack Hill/The Times

Andrew Lloyd Webber has said that he is determined to open his theatres on June 21[/caption]


Theatres can only hold a 50 percent capacity with current Government restrictions[/caption]

However, the musical’s reopening is subject to the Government’s “roadmap” and whether social distancing measures will be lifted.

If those measures are still in place, the Webber will be forced to postpone the musical’s premiere again.

The June 21 “freedom day” is in doubt due to concerns over the impact of Covid-19 variants.

Asked by the Daily Telegraph what happens if the Government forces Webber to delay the premiere of his show, he replied: “We will say: come to the theatre and arrest us.”

Cinderella was originally due to open in August 2020 but was diverted because of the pandemic.

The show, with an ensemble of 34 actors, could not afford to run the show at just 50 per cent capacity.

The pandemic has had a catastrophic financial impact on the theatre industry and many have remained closed despite the ease in Covid-19 restrictions as it is not financially viable for them to open with reduced capacities.

“I’ve seen the science from the tests don’t ask me how. They all prove that theatres are completely safe, the virus is not carried there,” Webber told the Telegraph.

“If the Government ignore their own science, we have the mother of all legal cases against them.

“If Cinderella couldn’t open, we’d go, ‘Look, either we go to law about it or you’ll have to compensate us.’”

The impresario went on to say that he may have to sell his six West End venues if the Government does not relax its restrictions.

He also revealed he has already remortgaged his London home.

This is not the first time Lord Lloyd-Webber, 73, has criticised those calling for a delay in reopening.

Last week he told the Daily Mail he may take legal action if his theatres are not allowed to welcome back crowds at full capacity.

He said it would be the “final death blow” if restrictions weren’t eased.

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