“Give us a date, mate”. Andrew Lloyd Webber asked Boris Johnson to set a date for the return of live shows before introducing a pilot performance featuring Beverley Knight at the London Palladium today.

Beverley performed with a full band and a lot of energy all her hits, in front of a socially distancing audience.

Before entering the building, people were asked to don face coverings, fill in track and trace forms and sanitise their hands.

Introducing the singer, Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “The London Palladium is meant to be full, it’s a theatre that wants to love you, and this is a very, very sad sight (to see the empty seats)
“I think this will amply prove why social distancing in theatre doesn’t work. It’s a misery for the performers I know and thank you Beverley for being so brave as to do this.”
Talking about the air circulation, he said: “This theatre was fogged yesterday and the chemical that it is fogged with is effective against the virus for four weeks, but we would do it every fortnight. The air of the Palladium is filtered, and it is expelled by the building in a better state than it was when it came here. So, you are safer here than in Oxford Street
Theatres are not cinema. They need many weeks to prepare a show, and it could take up to nine months or more for new shows, so we badly need a date when we can reopen!”