Boris Johnson says he’s in talks with Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber about opening new musical Cinderella.
The Prime Minister announced today a delay to the full reopening of theatres in England, continuing social distancing restrictions into July.
In the press conference, Johnson was questioned on recent criticism from Lord Lloyd Webber about ongoing capacity restrictions on theatre shows.
In response, Johnson said: “I have colossal admiration for Andrew Lloyd Webber and the entire theatre sector is one of the glories of this country and it’s broken everybody’s heart to see what we’ve had to go through.
“On Cinderella and Lord Lloyd Webber’s latest production I think we’re in talks with him to try and make it work and will do whatever we can to be helpful.”
He added: “There are some pilot events we hope will be able to go ahead even in the next four weeks.”
Responding to the comments, Lloyd Webber tweeted: “My goal is to fight for the full and safe reopening of theatre and live music venues up & down the country. I was pleased & surprised to hear the PM mention Cinderella this evening, but I can’t comment further on the proposed pilot until I know more about the scheme.”
Meanwhile Johnson also spoke on whether or not there was the potential for restrictions to continue even after the current 19 July reopening date.
He said: “On the basis of what we can currently see I am confident that 19 July will be a terminal date not a ‘not before’ date but that’s on the basis of the evidence currently before us.”
Last week saw Lord Lloyd Webber claim he was prepared to be arrested after vowing to reopen his theatres without social distancing.
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”.
The composer said: “We are going to open, come hell or high water… We will say: come to the theatre and arrest us.”
He even threatened potential legal action against the government if it failed to stick to the previously announced dates for relaxing the rules.
Lloyd Webber explained: “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’.”