The co-producer of the only show in the West End playing at 100 per cent capacity said it is just the “luck of the draw” it is still going ahead.
Heathers: The Musical returned with a full audience at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on Monday night just hours after Andrew Lloyd Webber announced his show, Cinderella, had been cancelled after self-isolation rules made the performance impossible.
Paul Taylor-Mills, who put Heathers on with Bill Kenwright, said: “As producers, at the moment it feels like we are all juggling knives in the air and at any point it could just stop and crumble around us. It feels like the luck of the draw at the moment.”
He said the atmosphere in a full theatre had been “electric” and he remained “hopeful” it would complete its run to September 12 without incident — but that it was impossible to guarantee. He said: “We have rigorous testing in place, but the problem is we are at the peril of the ping and if that goes off, even with negative results, the show has to close.”
Taylor-Mills, who also runs a theatre in the revamped Battersea Power Station, said the industry needed a Government-backed insurance scheme and “a more realistic way of managing the ping” so people did not have to self-isolate if they had both jabs and tested negative.
He said closing shows dented public confidence in buying tickets and that he was already struggling to recruit staff.
Speaking on Monday night, Lloyd Webber accused the Government of “idiocy” and said the “blunt instrument” of its self-isolation rules was to blame for the closure of his show.
One cast member tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday and while everyone else involved tested negative, it could not go ahead. The show will not re-open this week.