Cameron Mackintosh has confirmed that The Phantom of the Opera will require “a period of extended closure” to undertake maintenance work to the show’s set.
Last week, it emerged that Mackintosh would not be reopening his four West End productions - including Phantom - until 2021.
Following this, there was speculation that the closure period would be used to tend to work required on the set, and the theatre itself.
Now, in a joint statement from Macktintosh and the Really Useful Group, it has been confirmed that work will be carried out while the theatre is closed.
“Cameron Mackintosh and the Really Useful Group have over the last few months of the London run and since the enforced closure of The Phantom of the Opera due to Covid-19 undertaken a number of specialist inspections to see how much repair and maintenance work is needed to be done to the physical production and the theatre. The conclusion is that unfortunately the work is so considerable, a period of extended closure is urgently needed,” the statement said.
It added: “The set of this, the original production, is now over 34 years old and unsurprisingly many of the scenic elements are coming to the end of their natural life which was never envisaged to be as long as this when first built. LW Theatres, operator of Her Majesty’s Theatre, also need to attend to a number of remedial works on this historic building that for the last four decades has only been able to undertake decorative work.”
Mackintosh described it as “heart-breaking “ to have all of his productions close down in London.
“I am determined that my shows, including The Phantom of the Opera, will come back in 2021 when it is practical, safe and sensible to do so,” he added.
Earlier this week, Andrew Lloyd Webber took to social media to address concerns the production would not return as it originally opened.
“Please believe me. I’m doing everything in my power to ensure that when the Phantom returns it is the brilliant original,” he said.
It is understood that every employee on the production, including on stage and off, has been released from their contracts because of the closure.