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Andrew Lloyd Webber Says He's 'Worried' About the Future of the Industry if the UK Government Doesn't Reopen Theatres

“Having been a cheerleader, saying that we must get back, we will get back, I’m worried now," he said.

Andrew Lloyd Webber Says He's 'Worried' About the Future of the Industry if the UK Government Doesn't Reopen Theatres

Andrew Lloyd Webber is once again calling on the U.K. government to open London theaters to prevent the industry from collapsing.

In an interview with Bloomberg, he says that he is beginning to get worried about what the future holds.

"No business can sustain that sort of level of outgoing," he said. "Having been a cheerleader, saying that we must get back, we will get back, I'm worried now. My team has pretty much led the industry here, and I know they're getting to the point where they don't know what more we can do."

The arts and culture industry overall contributes 10.8 billion pounds a year to the U.K. economy and 363,700 jobs, according to analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research for Arts Council England.

"I've never come across anybody in my 50-plus years working professionally in the theater who realizes exactly what a big hit musical or a big hit play brings back," Webber said. "It is prodigious what it returns. We are an enormous earner for the country."

At this time, Webber is still hoping to open his production of Cinderella in May, but he acknowledges that this is unlikely at this time.

"Theater is a global business, and why would you open it in London if you feel that the government is not really behind it?" he said. "Musicals have got to really be repaying an investment. If we are stuck at 50% social distancing or something, we can't operate. There's no point."

Read more on Bloomberg.


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