Andrew Lloyd Webber has announced dates for the reopening of his major theatres.
The composer said he was “hugely optimistic” about the return of audiences after the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, as he revealed most of his theatres would be open again by early next summer – more than a year since they were closed due to the pandemic.
He said previews of the new musical Cinderella would begin on 30 April at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London’s West End.
The Phantom Of The Opera will return to the West End at Her Majesty’s Theatre in June 2021, while a musical adaptation of the Disney film Frozen will begin at the recently refurbished Theatre Royal Drury Lane in the spring.
The musical version of Back to the Future will be on offer at the Adelphi Theatre next June.
Matilda returns to the Cambridge Theatre in Covent Garden late spring – with a date yet to be confirmed.
The Other Place, a smaller theatre part of Lord Lloyd-Webber’s LW Theatres group, has said it will reopen at the end of June next year.
Lord Lloyd-Webber said: “I have been working ceaselessly throughout the year to get theatre back and these are the first dates that I feel confident that we will be able to reopen to full capacity.
“Having been on the Oxford COVID vaccine trial myself, I am hugely optimistic that once the vaccine rolls out, audiences will return to theatre in droves.
“My theatres will be ready for them. I am raring to go.”
Hospitality and entertainment sectors have been significantly impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic – with many businesses being forced to close during the national and local lockdowns.
In all Tier 3 areas, entertainment places will remain closed.
In Tier 2 – including some places in London – venues will continue to operate at a reduced capacity.
The Theatres Trust previously stated that it would be difficult for many theatres to reopen with social distancing measures.