Andrew Lloyd Webber last night said he could take ministers to court if they don’t allow theatres to operate at full capacity from June 21.
The impresario said it would be the ultimate death blow if the relaxation of restrictions didn’t go ahead as planned later this month.
Indoor entertainment venues were able to reopen on May 17 at half capacity, but numerous theatres have remained closed because it’s not profitable to play to smaller audiences.
Lord Lloyd Webber said if theatres can’t reopen 100 per cent after June 21, the problem becomes what is the legality of the whole thing? And he said if the Government’s own science has told them that buildings are safe, he’s advised that at that point things could get pretty difficult.
He said that this was the very last thing that anybody wants to do, but there would become a legitimate case at that point because it’s their science, not ours, and that he would dearly hope that we don’t have to, but he believes that they would have to consider it.
Lord Loyd Webber, who aspires to open his new musical Cinderella starring Carrie Hope Fletcher at the Gillian Lynne theatre in the West End next month, said he would be happy to ask theatre-goers to wear face coverings.
He continued that they would comply with anything the Government asks them to do to get 100 per cent open and that they have to be 100 per cent.
He further pointed to the success of the Government’s indoor events trials, such as at the Brit Awards at London’s O2 Arena and the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible in Sheffield.
Lord Lloyd Webber said the snooker had shown there’s no heightened chance of transmission of COVID in a theatre, and that if scientists are so concerned about everything, then they should be saying there should be a total circuit breaker and lock everything down again for two weeks.
And he said, to keep the arts sector completely closed implies the Government doesn’t care. Although he praised Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden for fighting hard for them.
It needs more people to sue the Government now.
Pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants, travel firms, hotels, airlines, theatres, TV production companies, just anyone who’s now being barred from opening fully because of single figure death numbers and hospitalisations in the low hundreds.
And good on Andrew Lloyd Webber because the response to COVID has been blown out of all proportion on so many levels, and it’s alarming how the timid public have just gone along with it.