Andrew Lloyd Webber calls for clarity: Pantomimes needs to know by 1 August if they can open
| By Jade Ali
At the first test pilot at the London Palladium just last week starring Beverley Knight, Andrew Lloyd Webber has called on the government to provide more clarity on whether pantomimes will be able to go ahead Christmas 2020. He has said that producers need to know by 1 August whether they can open or not.
Lloyd Webber has been open with his beliefs and that he thinks venues can open again without social distancing, providing they have the right conditions and safety measures and thinks this will be at no risk of transmission. Webber made a statement at the London Palladium pilot performance:
“I know from Michael Harrison, one of the great pantomime producers in Britain, that if he doesn't know by 1 August that pantomimes can open without social distancing he cannot proceed and that means the lifeblood that theatres depend on will evaporate and this cannot be allowed. We must get the regional theatres open.”
Lloyd Webber also pointed out, when recently speaking to the BBC, that passengers are able to sit on a plane without social distancing but the same is not allowed for theatres – and venues aren’t even close to the same situation.
When will UK theatres reopen?
At the London Palladium, one of the largest pantomime venues in the UK, Lloyd Webber also said:
“What we need badly is a date for reopening. Everyone understands that a spike in the virus could mean a delay, but we need a target.”