Andrew Lloyd Webber has warned that theatres are likely to remain closed until the end of September.
He said forecasts that venues may be able to reopen in June were “ridiculous”. Venues in both New York and London have been forced to close because of the pandemic.
“The industry says theatres reopen June 7. My opinion? Optimistic. Ridiculous. I think this peaks in June, and theatres remain closed until end of September,” he said.
He told New York publication Page Six: “We need these places, many [of which] are old, [to be as] safe as possible. In South Korea, they take everyone’s temperature. We’ll self-clean handles, wipe doors, utilise every safety measure. People won’t wish to crowd into small clustered seats again. But we must reopen. Some, with leftover money to spend, need the theatre.”
Lloyd Webber’s next show is Cinderella, which is due to open later this year at London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre.
The Society of London Theatre recently issued new advice to theatregoers, stating venues would be closed until at least May 31.
Earlier this week, industry leaders warned that some audiences could be reluctant to go back into auditoriums once the lockdown is lifted.