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Prince Charles’ ‘put on ice’ quip during theatre tour with Andrew Lloyd Webber

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella musical teased in trailer

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On Wednesday, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were given a tour of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane to showcase the recently completed £60 million renovation. The theatre now boasts the biggest stage in London.

Lord Lloyd Webber, his wife Lady Madeline and Simon Thurley, the chairman of the Lloyd Webber Theatre Restoration project, showcased the revamped stage and spoke to Charles about the theatre’s next big project.

Theatre Royal Drury Lane is set to open its doors to theatre-goers in the next few months after the repeated setbacks created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The West End theatre is set to bring an adaptation of the hit Disney film, Frozen, to the stage.

Stopping in the auditorium of the theatre to take in the refurbishments, Charles asked when the Disney inspired play was likely to open.

Lord Lloyd Webber joked: “Probably 2040”.

Prince Charles quipped back: “It’s what we call ‘put on ice’.”

Charles and Camilla then enjoyed a quick afternoon tea on the balcony before unveiling a plaque to commemorate recently completed renovations.

Earlier this month, the acclaimed theatre composer stated he would open one of his theatres on June 21 – even if stage four Covid restrictions were not lifted.

He added that he was prepared to be arrested if police intervened and has warned he would consider legal action against the Government if theatres were not allowed to reopen at full capacity.

He has since U-turned on his position to forcefully reopen with full capacity, accepting the legal limit of 50 percent.

Lord Lloyd Webber said if he opened the theatre as he had intended, each audience member, member of staff and crew would likely be charged with a £500 fine each.

He said: “If it were just me, I would happily risk arrest and fines to make a stand and lead the live music and theatre industry back to the full capacities we so desperately need.”

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In response to Lord Lloyd Webber’s protests, the Prime Minister offered the composer the chance to premiere a showing of Cinderella as part of a pilot scheme to reintroduce the public to live venues.

However, Lord Lloyd Webber rejected Mr Johnson’s proposals, claiming the theatre industry had been treated as “an afterthought and undervalued”.

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