Oliver Dowden meets with Andrew Lloyd Webber to test safe shows at the London Palladium, says "panto season is key"

UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden visited Andrew Lloyd Webber at the London Palladium to discuss ways to reopen theatres safely, the MP has revealed on Twitter.

Oliver Dowden meets Andrew Lloyd Webber onstage to discuss reopening safely

After Andrew Lloyd Webber shook the West End last month with his announcement of plans to test safe performances at the London Palladium based on the South Korean model, it appears things are slowly moving forward.

Today, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport met with the musical theatre impresario to investigate and explore options for reopening theatres. Such safety measures in place could include sanitisation of doorways, PPE (i.e. face masks, gloves), disinfectant sprays, temperature checks, thermal imaging cameras, and more to help prevent the spread of the virus and other diseases.

Oliver Dowden: "We're working intensively to get theatres open as soon as safe"

Dowden took to Twitter recently to confirm that he is "working intensively" whilst also posting photographic evidence of his meeting with Andrew Lloyd Webber.

"I saw v comprehensive safety measures in place at @LondonPalladium this morning with @OfficialALW & Public Health England Despite the huge challenges, we’re working intensively with them & others to get theatres open as soon as safe and I know that panto season is key," the Culture Secretary tweeted.

Oliver Dowden has been urged by industry leaders and workers to provide financial aid to the beleaguered arts sector to no avail. Without assistance or some sort of specific timeframe, 70% of theatres across the UK will have to shut for good by the end of the year, and with Christmas pantomime season being key to ensuring the show can go on, Dowden is under increased pressure to take action. 

The Secretary recently published a roadmap that has been heavily criticised for its lack of concrete dates or support. At least the hope of reopening with safe performances could be on the horizon.

This is a developing story and further information about the staging of safe theatrical performances is expected to come out very soon.

Keep checking the LTD News Centre for all the latest updates and be sure to sign up for our mailing list here to have the news come straight to you.

Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

Ephram is a jack of all trades and enjoys attending theatre, classical music concerts and the opera.


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