United Kingdom

Andrew Lloyd Webber REJECTS Boris Johnson's offer for musical to be in live events pilot scheme

Andrew Lloyd Webber has rejected Boris Johnson's offer for his musical Cinderella to be included in a pilot scheme for live events.

Following talks between the pair, the impresario said he 'cannot and will not take part' and blasted the Government over its treatment of theatre and music as 'an afterthought'.

Lord Lloyd-Webber, 72, said in a statement: 'I have made it crystal clear that I would only be able to participate if others were involved and the rest of the industry – theatre and music – were treated equally. This has not been confirmed to me.' 

Lord Lloyd-Webber said he would have been willing to face arrest by going ahead at full capacity when Cinderella premieres at London's Gillian Lynne Theatre on June 25

The Prime Minister wants to allow 'some theatrical performances' to go ahead at full capacity before the lifting of remaining restrictions on July 19.

Up to 20 live event pilots will take place in the four weeks leading up to the deadline, including the Wimbledon singles finals and four Euro 2020 games. 

But the composer said: 'It has become clear that, while sporting events like Wimbledon had obviously been working with the Government for some time on this pilot, and were even able to start selling tickets yesterday, the theatre industry and its audiences is, once again, an afterthought and undervalued.'

Lord Lloyd-Webber said he would have been willing to face arrest by going ahead at full capacity when Cinderella premieres at London's Gillian Lynne Theatre on June 25.

Lord Lloyd-Webber said he would have been willing to face arrest by going ahead at full capacity when Cinderella premieres at London's Gillian Lynne Theatre on June 25

But he added that after seeking legal advice he had decided he could not risk the cast, crew and audience members being fined individually. It will now go ahead at 50 per cent capacity.

The Download Festival is among the events taking part in the pilot – and fans braved the rain yesterday as they turned up for the three-day heavy metal festival at Donington Park in Leicestershire. The capacity has been cut from 111,000 to around 10,000, but attendees do not have to wear masks or social distance.

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