Andrew Lloyd Webber lays out plan to reopen West End theatres in letter to U.K. government

Theatre mogul Andrew Lloyd Webber has urged the U.K. government to follow South Korea’s trace-and-test method so stage shows can reopen amid the coronavirus crisis.

The Asian country has had fewer than 300 coronavirus deaths, despite having a population of more than 50 million, and the 72-year-old has stated that the country’s system of testing, tracking and tracing to combat the virus represents the “beginning of a road map back to non-socially distanced live entertainment”.

In the plan, obtained by Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper, the Evita composer suggests essential measures should be put in place so that theatrical events can continue in the U.K.


The Cats creator proposes audience members must wear masks, automatic doors be installed to ensure contact is kept to a minimum, and no food or drink is on offer.

Other safety measures include deep cleaning, freely available hand sanitiser and personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff, and making those attending the theatre have their temperature checked, in addition to regular testing for each production’s cast.

Similar measures are also being introduced in Australia, as the country begins to ease lockdown restrictions.

Webber has also offered to co-operate with the U.K. government in a bid to solve the issue as swiftly as possible.

His intervention came as 245 leading musicians told MPs in a letter organised by George Michael’s former saxophonist Ed Barker that their industry faces “annihilation”.