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Photograph: Ben Rowe

Theatres will stay closed until 2021 says ‘Les Mis’ producer

‘Cats’ and ‘Les Misérables’ mega-producer Cameron Mackintosh says the West End shows won’t go on until next year

Written by
Laura Richards

One of the world’s most successful producers of musicals, Cameron Mackintosh, has warned that London theatres won’t be able to reopen until 2021 due to social-distancing measures. Mackintosh, the mega-producer behind ‘Cats’, ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘Hamilton’, predicted that theatres won’t realistically be able to welcome back audiences until early next year. 

‘I think from the moment social distancing doesn’t exist any more, it will take us four to five months to actually get the actors back together,’ Mackintosh told Michael Ball in an interview on BBC Radio 2.

We will be back, but we need time to get back. If we don't hear [about lockdown lifting] in a few weeks, I think the truth is we won’t be able to come back until early next year,’ he added. 

This follows calls from playwright James Graham (who most famously penned ‘Quiz’) for a government bailout to help save UK theatres affected by the restrictions, as well as gloomy predictions from the National Theatre’s Rufus Norris last month, who told The Guardian that the theatre industry was in the ‘premier league of risk’.

Norris, who said he hopes that theatres could reopen by June or July, also warned that it was a only matter of days before some of the country’s smaller theatres could go out of business completely. 

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