Lord Lloyd-Webber may take legal action if full reopening of theatres is delayed

Andrew Lloyd Webber has reportedly raised the prospect of taking legal action against the Government if theatres are not allowed to reopen at full capacity from June 21.

The composer and impresario told the Daily Mail a delay in England’s reopening could prove to be “the final death blow” for the beleaguered sector.

While indoor entertainment venues were able to reopen from last month at reduced capacity, the restrictions meant it was not financially viable for many theatres.

Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber said he may take legal action if the full reopening of theatres is delayed (Jonathan Brady/PA)

There are now doubts surrounding the June 21 full reopening amid concerns over the impact of Covid-19 variants.

Lord Lloyd-Webber told the Daily Mail if theatres are blocked from a full reopening, the issue becomes “what is the legality of the whole thing?”.

He said: “If the Government’s own science has told them that buildings are safe … I’m advised that at that point things could get quite difficult.

“This is the very last thing that anybody wants to do, but there would become a legal case at that point because it’s their science – not ours. I would passionately hope that we don’t have to, but I think we would have to consider it.”

Lord Lloyd-Webber, 73, said he is happy to ask theatre-goers to wear masks and pointed to the success of the Government’s indoor events trials.

He cited the example of the World Snooker Championships at Sheffield’s Crucible and said it had “shown there is no increased risk of transmission of Covid in a theatre”.

Lord Lloyd-Webber’s production of Cinderella is set to open at the Gillian Lynne theatre in the West End later this month.