Lord Lloyd Webber has said that London’s West End lags behind Broadway because a shortage of theatre space means there is nowhere to try out new material and “get it wrong”.
The musical veteran said that the capital could learn from show bosses in New York’s theatre district, who have a chance to develop and perfect new productions away from the limelight “off Broadway”, thanks to more available venues.
Lord Lloyd Webber told The Daily Telegraph: “The thing we have to think about right now in Britain is that America has basically taken the lead again.
“There are 13 new musicals coming on to Broadway this year and there are only two new musicals in London.
“What’s happened is that in America there are masses and masses of theatres where you can try things out and perfect material before they ever get near to Broadway.”
Lord Lloyd Webber said that London’s West End does not have “those spaces or places where people can try work out and get it wrong”.
He said: “We don’t have a culture where that happens.”
Lord Lloyd Webber, who has now matched a record set by musical theatre team Rodgers and Hammerstein with four productions on Broadway due to the return of his show Sunset Boulevard, hopes the influence of Oscar and Bafta-nominated film La La Land will help musicals to become more of a priority in Hollywood.
He said: “Musicals have never been the number one thing of Hollywood.
“As well as some musicals have done, they’re not huge by Hollywood standards. La La Land I think is a big change. It woke Hollywood up to the musical again.”