Andrew Lloyd Webber calls on investors to think 'Britain first' when backing shows

Andrew Lloyd Webber has called on investors to “think of Britain first” when putting money into theatre, claiming Broadway is a “vanity project”

He was speaking at the Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace, attended by a number of investors and chief executives, at which prime minister Rishi Sunak delivered a speech.

Lloyd Webber noted the success of The Lion King film, stating that its worldwide current gross is $970 million – but that the theatre show had generated $10.2 billion.

“A statistic I got last week for London is that for every pound that it generates in the theatre, it generates £1.40 in the local economy,” he said. “Theatre is, in my view, in the UK, an incredibly exciting and good investment.

“Broadway is now almost a vanity project and the only shows that can survive on Broadway are shows like The Lion King or Hamilton, which are so huge that they can more than break even.

“To put a musical on Broadway now would cost roughly $20 million.”

The composer explained the story behind The Little Big Things, a show currently running in the West End, adding: “You’re not going to find work like that in any other place than London or the West End.”

Lloyd Webber continued: “I passionately ask for two things: that theatre is supported by government a little more than perhaps it is at the moment, and I passionately ask you, if you are thinking of investing, to think of Britain first and think of our theatre.”


Sounds very “Brexity”.

Prouvaire avatar

He was actually a remainer. In 2017 he said “By quitting Europe, I fear that we are hastening Putin’s dream of the break-up of the EU – and with it, potentially, Western civilisation.”

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