- Title: London is alive again, 'Les Mis' producer says as he opens concert show
- Date: 20th May 2021
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MAY 20, 2021) (REUTERS) TRAFFIC OUTSIDE THE SONDHEIM THEATRE WHERE "LES MISERABLES - THE STAGED CONCERT" IS STAGED SIGN FOR "LES MISERABLES" THEATRE-GOERS QUEUING TO ENTER THEATRE THEATRE-GOERS SCANNING QR CODE FOR NHS (NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE) COVID-19 APP SIGN READING (English) "HANDS - FACE - SPACE" THEATRE-GOERS HAVING TICKETS SCANNED AT THEATRE ENTRANCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH THEATRICAL PRODUCER, CAMERON MACKINTOSH, SAYING: "Several of our shows already have got back the advance that they had before the pandemic hit. So I am very, very encouraged in the public interest, which I think will only get stronger and stronger once everyone knows whether they can go on a summer holiday or not. And you know, this is the first week London's reopened with the restaurants. You can see, you can feel it in the street, London is coming alive again. And it's it pleasantly busy and buzzy now." THEATRE-GOERS QUEUING TO ENTER THEATRE / SECURITY GUARD ADDRESSING PEOPLE IN THE QUEUE SECURITY GUARD TELLING PEOPLE TO SOCIALLY DISTANCE IN QUEUE DETAILS OF THEATRE-GOER BEING CHECKED IN QUEUE THEATRE-GOERS IN QUEUE TO ENTER THEATRE (SOUNDBITE) (English) 29-YEAR-OLD TEACHER DANIEL VAUGHN FROM AUSTRALIA AND 31-YEAR-OLD ARTIST ROSIE WOODS, SAYING: VAUGHN "I'm going back to Australia on Monday so looking forward to it. I wanted to get one in while I was here for the two years, one theatre in two years, yes!" WOODS "Yeah, I can't wait. We met in Australia and I kept telling Dan how great the theatre was so just before we leave on Monday it's perfect." (SOUNDBITE) (English) 37-YEAR-OLD LISA NORMAN WHO IS CURRENTLY UNEMPLOYED DUE TO LONG COVID-19 AND 63-YEAR-OLD DIANE NORMAN WHO IS CURRENTLY ON FURLOUGH DUE TO LONG COVID-19, SAYING: LISA NORMAN "Yeah, the masks is weird. Socially distancing is going to be strange but quite nice I think. Good atmosphere, first opening night, I think the atmosphere will be brilliant, better than usual, so can't wait." DIANE NORMAN "Pleased for the actors that they're all back as well, yeah, really pleased for them. We are here to support them." (SOUNDBITE) (English) JILL JONES, MOTHER OF LUCY JONES WHO PLAYS FANTINE IN THE PRODUCTION, SAYING: "It's off the scale and obviously the last year has been so hard because they've not been able to perform and now it's back, and thank God it is. Thank you."
- Embargoed: 3rd June 2021 23:51
- Keywords: Cameron Mackintos Hamilton Les Mis London Westend Les Miserables London musical London theatre Mary Poppins The Phantom of the Opera
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / UNIDENTIFIED LOCATIONS
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / UNIDENTIFIED LOCATIONS
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Europe,Theatre
- Reuters ID: LVA003EDRMQTP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: London and its famed West End entertainment district are "coming alive again" after months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, veteran theatre producer Cameron Mackintosh said on Thursday (May 20) as he reopened a staged concert of hit musical "Les Miserables".
Mackintosh, known for producing shows like "Phantom of the Opera" and "Cats", welcomed audiences back to his Sondheim Theatre three days after indoor entertainment venues reopened their doors in the latest lockdown easing in England.
"Several of our shows already have got back the advance that they had before the pandemic hit. So I am very encouraged in the public interest, which I think will only get stronger," Mackintosh told Reuters.
"This is the first week London's reopened with the restaurants. You can see, you can feel it in the street, London is coming alive again. And it's pleasantly busy and buzzy now."
About a third of London theatres have reopened this week but with strict social distancing measures, meaning they have to operate at 50% capacity. Big musical productions are only planning to reopen in the summer after the last phase in the roadmap out of lockdown, scheduled for June 21.
Mackintosh, 74, owns eight West End theatres and is behind the London productions of shows such as "Hamilton" and "Mary Poppins". "Les Miserables - The Staged Concert" is smaller in size.
"When the entire rig of the theatre lifted up in the air, there were gasps and cheers as well," he said.
"It really is a proper show because there are over 50 people on stage there. And I don't think in these COVID times anyone was expecting that."
Mackintosh said he hoped the rest of his shows would start opening towards the end of July and August.
"Not everyone has been able to come back to our business... but the ones that have come back, they've come back with such passion and they are so thrilled," Mackintosh said.
"We are going to be in the vanguard of bringing back London to being the great centre of theatre it is."
(Production: Hanna Rantala, Gerhard Mey)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None