Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sonia Friedman and Cameron Mackintosh have joined others in the entertainment industry in launching legal action to force the Government to hand over the results of its pilot live events.

The Events Research Programme ran test events at sporting, music and arts venues to assess the safety of large gatherings during the pandemic.

In a statement, the group accused the Government of “making it impossible to plan for any live entertainment business” by not sharing their findings.

Lord Lloyd Webber said: “Last week I rejected the Government’s invitation for Cinderella to be singled out as a last-minute part of the Events Research Programme.

Friedman said in a statement: "The Government continues to display a wilful lack of understanding of the extraordinary value of the theatre industry, and the way in which we operate. We can only fully reopen once. We need absolute clarity on when and how we can fully reopen – to bring a show back to full production takes months in planning to rehearse and to build a box office advance."

The parties' joint statement says: "the Government has flagrantly breached the ‘duty of candour' which requires it to be transparent when faced with a legal challenge and that none of the reasons given for withholding the Events Research Programme material they seek withstand scrutiny. They have asked the Court to consider their application at an urgent hearing as soon as possible."


Mackintosh added: "Having been forced to close our theatres twice last year, the second time after the government encouraged reopening for Christmas, losing further millions as a result, a joint insurance scheme to protect us against another enforced closure is vital.

"Along with most of the commercial theatre we have had absolutely no direct financial help either for our productions or the upkeep of our historic theatres. Opening without any sort of protection is impossible for many producers, live event organisers and theatre buildings across the country. Having contributed huge amounts of money to the exchequer over the last few decades, the theatre desperately needs to be supported in its hour of need or the government will be responsible for the disintegration of one of this country's most priceless and irreplaceable assets after centuries of being the envy of the world."