- 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) (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH THEATRICAL PRODUCER, CAMERON MACKINTOSH, SAYING: "I'm so full of admiration of what people have had to do to look after their families and actually just keep themselves going. And not everyone has been able to come back to our business, we know across the board, but the ones that have come back, they've come back with such passion and they are so thrilled, and I think it's probably a heightened awareness from all of us that work in the theatre of how lucky we are to work in the theatre and seeing tonight we are so lucky that the public loves the theatre so much they have come flocking back. I know we're not the only show to have opened on Shaftesbury Avenue tonight. There's two others, 'Jamie' and 'Six' have opened down the road. So this little enclave of the West End in Shaftesbury Avenue is lighting up Shaftesbury Avenue. We are going to be in the vanguard of bringing back London to being the great centre of theatre it is. And I'm hoping that the rest of my shows will start opening towards the end of July and August. And we hope that Boris will be able to keep to his plan and get rid of the dreaded social distancing and everything else by the end of June." LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MAY 20, 2021) (REUTERS) CAST OF "LES MISERABLES - THE STAGED CONCERT" ON STAGE FOR CURTAIN CALL, TAKING A BOW AUDIENCE APPLAUDING AND CHEERING ACTOR ADDRESSING AUDIENCE FROM STAGE SAYING (English) "Good night and God bless" / AUDIENCE CHEERING AND APPLAUDING / CAST ON STAGE WAVING AND LEAVING
- 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: LVA006EDRMQTP
- 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)
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