While theatre owners wait for word of when it will be safe to open their venues to crowds once again, Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber is making some plans for a safe theatrical experience for fans.
Lord Weber owns seven theatres including the London Palladium where he is looking to open the venue pointing to a model being used in Seoul, South Korea where a production of “The Phantom of the Opera” has been running for the past two months.
Noting that the point is to make people feel safe and secure as possible, Weber said, “the key thing is that they have incredibly good hygiene in every single possible way [at the Blue Square cultural complex in Korea], both backstage for the cast and the crew and the orchestra, but also for people in the front of the house.”
Those safety measures include thermal sensors for taking temperatures, self cleaning hygienic doors handles, a light disinfectant spray throughout the theatre, hand sanitizing stations, and mandatory mask wearing.
Lord Weber intends to make use of all of these measures in his plans to open the Palladium.
Looking at an early July opening, Lord Weber said, “what I hope to do is to be able to demonstrate to the government what has happened in Korea [can work] at the London Palladium, hopefully in the first week of July…We hope to have [all the equipment] in the theatre next Monday, and then we’re going to do a whole series of tests there to see whether or not it’s going to work.”
Weber explained that he chose the Palladium because as the largest of his theatres, it is also the most problematic and a demonstration of success there would show that it could work elsewhere.
Once it reopens, the Palladium is set to run a revival of “The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”.
A multi award winning composer, Lord Weber spoke on his life in the theatre saying, “I’ve been over 50 years in the theatre. It’s my life; it’s my blood. It’s been absolutely awful to see everything that I’ve loved in my life gone. The theatres are my way of putting something back into the business that’s been so good to me. I want to prove they can be open.”
feature photo credit: By Qwertyytrewqqwerty – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67118249