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Andrew Lloyd Webber denies West End tickets are too expensive

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Andrew Lloyd Webber has rejected the suggestion that West End ticket prices are too expensive, claiming that they are “incredibly reasonable”.

Asked by BBC arts editor Will Gompertz whether he thought the price of West End shows was too high, Lloyd Webber said: “We have 20% VAT to absorb. Theatre is highly labour intensive. On the whole, the prices of West End theatre are incredibly reasonable considering the cost of putting something on.”

When Gompertz mentioned that he had paid more than £100 for tickets to each part of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child [1], Lloyd Webber replied: “We don’t charge anything like that for School of Rock.”

Top price tickets for School of Rock [2], which opened in the West End last year, cost £129.50 for a stalls seat, while the lowest price is £15 for a seat in the circle with restricted view. There are also student tickets priced at £10.

For The Phantom of the Opera, top-price stalls seats are £128.50, while balcony seats with limited legroom and restricted view are available for £24.80.

According to the Society of London Theatre, the average ticket price paid in the West End in 2016 was £44.99 [3].

Speaking on Gompertz’s Radio 5 Live programme [4], Lloyd Webber also addressed his former writing partnership with Tim Rice, saying: “It’s a shame we didn’t go on writing together.”

When asked about the possibility of reuniting with Rice, Lloyd Webber said: “Never say never.”

“He’s written the lyrics to the most successful musical currently playing in the world, The Lion King. He’s got Beauty and the Beast, he’s got Aladdin. He doesn’t exactly need to write.

“If he wanted to come to me with an idea… I think it would have to be him wanting to do the idea. I don’t think if I went to him, he’d want to do that.”