Andrew Lloyd Webber predicts 2012 theatre 'bloodbath'

 
Andrew Lloyd Webber Lord Lloyd-Webber's Really Useful Group owns seven theatres in London

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The Olympics will cause "a bloodbath of a summer" for London theatres in 2012, Andrew Lloyd Webber has predicted.

"Nobody's going to go to the theatre at all," the composer told Radio 4's Today programme, predicting that "most of the theatres in London will shut".

"It's going to be very tough," he said, revealing advance bookings were "about 10%" of their normal level.

Three major musicals, he added, "are not going to play over the Olympics" - but he would not name them.

Lord Lloyd-Webber's Really Useful Group owns seven London theatres which are currently hosting shows including War Horse, Matilda and The Wizard of Oz.

The impresario said "big, big, big hits" like his own The Phantom of the Opera would continue during the Olympics period.

But he said some of his other theatres "will have to" close because of a drop-off in the "ordinary West End tourist audience".

On a brighter note, the 63-year-old said a host of new musicals would arrive in the West End after the conclusion of the 2012 games.

Shows heading into London include a Spice Girls musical, a Bridget Jones stage show and the Tony award-winning The Book of Mormon.

"They've never been so commercially popular," he told BBC arts correspondent Rebecca Jones. "The appetite for musicals is insatiable in a way.

"I don't think I've ever had so many musicals being offered to our theatres in London as there are for the end of next year."

The capital's promotional organisation London and Partners added that 29 shows would be running next summer, with an "unprecedented" number booking through to the autumn.

A spokeswoman said that a whole series of experiences would be on offer next year, including London's "world-beating theatre".

 

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 166.

    I shall set up a collection fund for you,in the meantime will somebody tell him there is a recession on please.Nothing to do with the olympic games,he just does not live in the real world.Bet you he does not have financial difficulty running his central heating,he makes me want to vomit.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 165.

    Bloodbath? Really? Get real Syria is a bloodbath, theatres in the West End will just have a quiet couple of weeks. I'm sure it won't affect Andrew Lloyd Webbers pocket too much!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 164.

    Nonsense!
    This is opportunity knocking at the door. Open the theatre door for pity's sake. Since when do theatres and Olympics run simultaneously.
    This is opportunity to align theatrical prices & timing to augment Olympics.
    You know: when given lemons, make lemonade!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 163.

    I'd love to be able to go to the theatre on a regular basis. Not all of us are sports mad even though the Olympics are probably a once in a lifetime opportunity. So how about reducing the cost of seats during the Olympic period so that those of us who can't usually afford to go, can go? It would keep the shows going and provide evening entertainment for the masses of expected visitors.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 162.

    "13.You
    3 Hours ago
    Your comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain."
    ---

    Yes please explain BBC? Is it the criticism via sarcasm of your preponderance of giving Webber a show when he needs "talent" to fill his cast for upcoming musicals?

    Hmm...

    The BBC do like removing posts for the most odd reasons.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 161.

    Not got a great business brain has he?

    Anyone else would see millions of tourists landing in London as an opportunity. There are a million and one things I could think of to increase audience numbers, and profitability.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 160.

    Here's an idea. Relocate the West End to another UK city for a month. Ticket prices are not the issue, it's the cost of travelling to and within London that is the killer, £60 rail fare each, plus £10 taxi fare to go a couple of blocks. Give people outside London a chance to see these shows (which always seem to be fully booked when you try and book a seat for the weekend on line)

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 159.

    How touching when the rich bleet.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 158.

    Who cares? Lloyd Webber is a plagarist anyway,every good tune he's done is a copy of someone else's work passed off as his own.
    I'd much prefer to watch our money blown on the olympics rather than an elitieist "cutural" event which has been running for 15-20 years. Would Britian be any less cultural for the lack of Lloyd Webber? I think not.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 157.

    Bloodbath? Pah?
    The real reason ALW is so Gloomy is that his over priced, mediocre product will have to compete with FREE & Modestly priced Theatre of the Cultural Olympiad. Who wants to pay £95+ bking fee + restoration levy + 0845 call charges for any of the West-end, when you can get your fill of Good Theatre in those 3 weeks without paying ALW & the rest a penny. This man NEVER stops Moaning

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 156.

    Thereby providing yet another inspiration for Mr Lloyd Webber to compose a musical tragedy of the lamentations of a billionaire composer.

  • rate this
    +22

    Comment number 155.

    Don't quite see this somehow. A trip to the theatre is usually a major part of a trip to London. Perhaps they should try dropping their prices and get more people in. The theatre is now a 'luxury' for many people.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 154.

    The reason I will not be going to see a ALW production this summer is not the Olympics. I won't be watching that either (with the exception of the women's beach volleyball, obviously).

    It's because I have an aversion to fatuous stories interspersed with cardboard characters dragging their fingernails down blackboards in time to annoying repetitive tunes.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 153.

    So Lloyd Webber stands to lose money while the Olympics are on? That's an unexpected and welcome bonus.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 152.

    Lloyd Webber's 'Really Useful Group' has a 'monopoly' by owning 7 West End London theatres?

    This is very disturbing, and probably accounts for too many over-priced, franchised and endless regurgitation of same old Lloyd Webber copyright owned tedious musicals and not enough funds for real theatre and plays.

    2012 Olympics - I really hope it goes well, and our economy benefits to pay for it.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 151.

    What a bringer of doom Lloyd Webber is ! He should be ashamed of himself. He wants to start charging prices people can afford ! Hope he does not make the staff at the closed theatres have to expect anything less than full pay or use these two weeks from their annual holiday entitlement. Used to respect this man but of late he has been asking like a sour faced misery!

  • rate this
    +23

    Comment number 150.

    ALW, please don't be too pessimistic! Just reduce your highly inflated ticket prices, booking fees, hidden fees and people, specially overseas visitors, would drop by. Just because there is a good entertainment alternative for Londoners, it should not mean the end of the world to you and your enterprise. Be humble and everything will be alright!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 149.

    A car plant would be great but high tech manufacturing plants might be better. Car production capacity is about to get much worse after China, the big new market has decided to block foreign car makers product on over to protect its own. This is a disaster. No a car plant is probably not the right thing though I understand where your coming from.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 148.

    Look For Solutions Andrew There are plenty of really good ones mentioned below. Think negative and it will be so... Think positive and out of the box be collabortive with associates and the olympics and the hotels and travel agents ... find the solution.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 147.

    Surely ALW could've capitalised on the hoardes of people who didn't "win" tickets to Olympic events by offering them specials during the month. Also, a bit OTT to use terms like "bloodbath."

 

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