Andrew Lloyd Webber says he’s prepared to be arrested after vowing to reopen his theatres without social distancing.
Currently UK venues are permitted to open but with strict capacity restrictions in place.
While the rules were originally due to be relaxed on 21 June, there have been reports that this date could be pushed back a number of weeks or even longer.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the musical theatre impresario said he would reopen his theatres without social distancing this month “come hell or high water”.
His new musical, an adaptation of the fairytale Cinderella, is currently due to begin performances on 25 June. The show was originally scheduled to open last summer.
The composer said: “We are going to open, come hell or high water… We will say: come to the theatre and arrest us.”
He went on to threaten potential legal action against the government if it failed to stick to the previously announced dates for relaxing the rules.
Lloyd Webber explained: “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.
“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’.”
Lloyd Webber previously said running shows with social distancing was “just not economically possible”.
He told the BBC last year: “The average play needs a 65% capacity and a musical needs more. And that’s before it even starts to repay anything.”