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
    +1

    Comment number 186.

    He isn't the first to say something of this sort, over the last six months a range of tourist bodies have predicted that the Olympics will have dire effects on other forms of tourisum and related business next year. I assume that most of them know their business and have no difficulty in seeing why it may well be the case.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 185.

    The people who fly in to watch the Olympics will be able to afford both. It's the people outside the South East who on top of transport will have inflated hotel costs who will not be attending but as there are places other than London with theatres Perhaps some of the acts could tour. It's only a month or 2 at most.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 184.

    Come on ... You have had four years to plan for this opportunity and because you have not you are calling it a threat .

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 183.

    @179brt101 - Is it not?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 182.

    HaveIGotThatWrong - Yes you have, Webber has nothing to be worried about but what about the backstage, front of stage bar, cleaning,box officeand admin staff etc most of whom, will probably be on minimum wage - they are the ones who will lose out, even the actors themselves are more out of work that in it so it will hit them just as hard. Having said all that, what about The Show Must Go On??

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 181.

    Strikes me the man is completely London-centric,
    -
    Take a fish out of water, it will suffocate and die. Take the musicals out of London, and the same thing will happen. Perhaps then the whole scene will move on to something newer, and possibly entertaining to the unwashed masses like myself.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 180.

    Strikes me the man is completely London-centric, why not use the opportunity to take these shows around the UK as unbelievably Mr Webber there is actually a world outside of the capital.

  • rate this
    -9

    Comment number 179.

    @172.joseramirez
    Are you serious? London is subsidised by less wealthy parts of the country?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 178.

    Surely this is a golden opportunity to increase seat sales BUT not at the current horrendous prices--booking fees charged are so OTT
    This defeatist attitude is totally unrealistic

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 177.

    If business is going to be so bad in London, then why not move the shows out to "the provinces" for the duration.

    It might give us neaderthals the chance to see the West End blockbusters without having the expense of spending ludicrous amounts of money on overpriced London hotels, restaurants and the like!

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 176.

    I agree, he is simply demonstrating the attitude of the wealthy; they do not live in the real world,
    -Really? I'd say most people who've made their own money do,very much, live in the real world,Their attitude would be "why should I help you, I've worked for years to get where I am, and I've earned this" Of course, you could set the moral high ground by giving away your some of your stuff Steve

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 175.

    I would have thought someone like Andrew Lloyd Webber would see the potential to get people into his Theatres. Not everyone is excited about the Olympics being on 24/7, cut the prices down and get rid of the criminal booking charges and he might fill the Theatres up with genuine punters and not rich ones!

  • rate this
    -8

    Comment number 174.

    It yet again amazes me how so many people on this site think they know everything, they know more about running theatres than people that have been doing it all there lives. Dont you think they might just have considered they high footfall of people attending the Olympics and the effects of reducing prices. If booking numbers are only 10% of the normal for this time of year then it looks grim.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 173.

    This is getting a bit ridiculous now, nobody goes to the theatre on a regular basis, just every so often. True the tickets are costly and could do better if they weren't, but lets keep this in prospective the olymics barely lasts a month and not everyone will be that bothered by it. What they could do is just reduce ticket costs for theares and advertise them as appertiser.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 172.

    I care about neither the LONDON olympics nor the LONDON luvvies. Both are overpriced follies syphoning yet more money from less wealthy parts of the country.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 171.

    Lloyd Webber do shut up. You are wealthy beyond *imagination, something, dare I say, that you do not possess?

    *Perhaps restructuring of melodies out of copyright me thinks.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 170.

    How he must be struggling....

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 169.

    The Cheshire Cat (74) wrote "Andrew Lloyds Bank is showing a lack of understanding of the real world". I agree, he is simply demonstrating the attitude of the wealthy; they do not live in the real world, many never have, many never will. They look at the present economic mess (which some of them caused) and know that they have homes abroad to flee to if necessary (and in truth, we paid for them!)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 168.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 167.

    P.S. I also object strongly to the term "bloodbath" coming out of his mouth when I doubt he's ever chipped a fingernail. Go and serve in Afganistan for a while Webber. A few actors out of work is not a bloodbath,it's not even a tragedy.It's just life, so stop bleating and get on with it.

 

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