Andrew Lloyd Webber has announced a planned test-run to reopen the London Palladium in July, inspired by a production of The Phantom of the Opera in South Korea which has remained open despite the Coronavirus pandemic.
Lloyd Webber told BBC Radio 4 that “the local producers have done extraordinary work there”, and that the Phantom production has been open for over two months. “The key thing is that they have is incredibly good hygiene in every single possible way, both backstage for the cast and crew and orchestra, but also for people in the front of the house. The whole point is to make people feel as safe and secure as they possibly can – for example, they have thermal imaging cameras at the stage door and as you come into the theatre that can identify if people have a temperature extremely quickly.”
Lord Lloyd Webber confirmed that he’s ordered the same equipment for his test-run at the London Palladium, including silver ion door handles which are “apparently….completely effective against pathogens like coronavirus. Everybody going into the theatre is fobbed with the antiviral chemical, and the theatre itself is fobbed after every performance. There’s no social distancing because it’s impossible in the theatre.”
The test run comes as several West End theatre owners and producers including Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Nimax Theatres have announced plans for widespread redundancies across the industry. The West End holds its collective breath…