London and its famous West End entertainment district ‘come back to life’ after months of closure due to Covid-19 pandemic, veteran theater producer Cameron Mackintosh says as he reopens staged hit musical concert . Wretched.
Mackintosh, known for producing shows like The Phantom of the Opera and Cats, welcomed audiences back to its Sondheim theater three days after indoor entertainment venues reopened in England’s latest lockdown easing.
“Several of our shows have already regained the lead they had before the pandemic. So I am very encouraged in the public interest, which I think will only get stronger,” Mackintosh told Reuters.
“It’s the first week of London reopening with the restaurants. You can see, you can smell it in the streets, London is coming to life. And it’s pleasantly busy and lively now.”
About a third of London’s theaters reopened this week, but with strict social distancing measures, meaning they must operate at 50% of capacity. Major musical productions only plan to reopen in the summer after the final phase of the non-lockout roadmap, scheduled for June 21.
Mackintosh, 74, owns eight West End theaters and is the originator of London productions of shows such as Hamilton and Mary poppins. Les Misérables – The staged concert is smaller in size.
“When the entire theater platform lifted into the air, there were also gasps and cheers,” he said.
“It’s really a real show because there are more than 50 people on stage. And I don’t think in the days of Covid anyone expected that.
Mackintosh said he hopes the rest of his shows start opening around the end of July and August.
“Not everyone got to come back to our business… but those who did come back, they came back with such passion and they are so thrilled,” Mackintosh said.
“There was a great camaraderie between all the producers because everyone understands that their colleagues are having problems. So I think there has been more cooperation, collaboration between the producers and the theater owners, two sides of the Atlantic and the whole world that I have never known. “