Friday 23 March 2018

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber wants more new musicals

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber said he hopes the UK will soon produce another new work of musical theatre.

Lord Lloyd Webber (Peter Byrne/PA)
Lord Lloyd Webber (Peter Byrne/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association

West End veterans Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Elaine Paige have mourned the absence of new musicals in the capital.

The composer, who recently made Broadway history when four of his shows ran concurrently in New York, celebrated the dominance of the genre on the other side of the pond but said he hopes the UK will soon produce another new work of musical theatre.

He told the Press Association: “There haven’t really been any new ones. I’m not counting my School Of Rock because we opened that on Broadway, for the obvious reason it was a very American story and an American film and I wanted an American cast first.

“But I have to say I have often thought and wondered where the successors of what I was doing would come from now and the unexpected is the one thing you can be certain about.

“I don’t know what the unexpected is, I just hope.”

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber (David Parry/PA)

Arriving at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards, where he will receive the lifetime achievement prize, he said: “It’s wonderful for me, who loves musicals, to see musicals back again in America like they are.

“Lin-Manuel Miranda who wrote Hamilton is a major, major talent to have come though, as are the guys who wrote La La Land and Dear Evan Hansen.

“It’s wonderful to see America really thriving with musicals again and I guess when ones looks back over it, if one is being reflective, America has always been the home for musicals and maybe I’ve been a fish in rather a strange water.

“The other side of the coin is where we have always been strong, which is in plays and serious drama. We are as strong as we have ever been.

“I love musicals and would love to see something really fresh and original coming out of Britain, that is what one wants for, not things that are necessarily imitative.”

Elaine Paige (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Paige, who starred in Lord Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats, told the Press Association: “I’m sorry to have to agree with him on that front, I have been over in New York covering the Tony Awards for my radio show and there is so much new work out there to see.

“It’s not necessarily all good but that’s kind of not the point really, it’s on, it’s happening, young people are writing new things, coming up with fresh new ideas not based on a book, not based on a film or whatever, original ideas.

“You just think ‘where are our young writers, why are they hiding under a stone?’ “Or are they? Can they just not get their work seen?”

Lord Lloyd Webber added he is composing all the time, but is yet to find a worthy subject.

He said: “I am composing but I can’t find a subject, as soon as I find a subject I will be there.

“I just don’t want to rush into doing the wrong subject.”

Press Association

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