Andrew Lloyd Webber wants government to trial chemical he says could be 'game-changer' for theatres

Julia Hunt
·Contributor
·2-min read
Andrew Lloyd Webber arrives at the 2018 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Day 2 held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, September 9, 2018. (Photo By Sthanlee B. Mirador/Sipa USA)
Andrew Lloyd Webber (Sthanlee B. Mirador/Sipa USA)

Andrew Lloyd Webber is reportedly calling on the government to trial a chemical he claims could potentially be a “game-changer” when it comes to getting theatres open.

The composer has been vocal about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the theatre world, which has been badly hit, with venues closed and live performances put on hold.

And according to a report in the Daily Mail, he now wants ministers to look at trialling triethylene glycol (TEG), with the idea being that a chemical spray could be pumped into indoor venues to help sanitise them.

Watch: Theatre Companies Turning To Broadway On Demand As Pandemic Shutdown Continues

The theatre impresario, 72, apparently offered to test whether the substance could be used safely at his London Palladium theatre.

Read more: Andrew Lloyd Webber signs up for coronavirus vaccine in bid to help save theatre

However, his proposal has not got off the ground so far.

Andrew Lloyd Webber attends the premiere of "Cats" at Alice Tully Hall in New York.
Andrew Lloyd Webber (PA)

The Mail quoted Lloyd Webber as saying: “All we are is saying is, ‘Look, you should trial this.’

“Because if it is safe it could be a game-changer for schools and any form of indoor public space.”

He went on: “To be absolutely fair, the government side is really quite interested. But it seems it has hit (a wall) with the health people once again.”

The publication quoted a Health and Safety Executive spokesperson as saying that according to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), there was currently “limited evidence that the use of chemical sprays such as TEG will be effective to clean the air and reduce airborne virus transmission risks in occupied spaces”.

Read more: Andrew Lloyd Webber says the Cats movie was 'ridiculous'

Lloyd Webber, whose production of Cinderella is due to open in the spring, has previously said the theatre world needs to remain positive.

 Andrew Lloyd Webber�s Cinderella his latest musical comedy starring Carrie Hope Fletcher which is due to reopen at the Gillian Lynne Theater in London�s west end in April 2021. The Theater has a sign saying 'Opening Spring 2021... If We're Allowed!' in reference to Theaters being closed at present to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella is due to open in April (Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in June, he said it had been “absolutely awful to see everything that I’ve loved in my life gone”.

“I really believe that we in theatre must be positive and use everything we can to demonstrate we can open,” he said. “If having done that we fail, at least we’ve tried.”

Watch: Andrew Lloyd Webber feels safe after trialling COVID vaccine