Andrew Lloyd Webber Urges Investors to Prioritize British Theatre Over Broadway

The renowned composer highlights the economic benefits of investing in UK theatre and calls for increased government support.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, the celebrated composer of iconic musicals like “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Cats,” has made a fervent plea for investors to prioritize British theatre over Broadway. Speaking at the Global Investment Summit, Lloyd Webber emphasized the economic impact of the theatre industry and urged investors to consider the benefits of supporting the UK’s vibrant theatrical landscape.

Theatre’s Economic Impact and the Appeal of British Productions

Lloyd Webber highlighted the significant economic benefits that theatre brings to local communities. Citing statistics from London, he revealed that for every pound generated in the theatre, an additional £1.40 is generated in the local economy. This demonstrates the potential for theatre to be a lucrative investment opportunity. The composer passionately argued that theatre in the UK offers a wealth of exciting and profitable prospects.

Broadway as a “Vanity Project”

In contrast to the thriving theatre scene in the UK, Lloyd Webber referred to Broadway as a “vanity project.” He explained that only shows of immense scale, such as “The Lion King” or “Hamilton,” can thrive financially on Broadway. The costs associated with producing a musical on Broadway are exorbitant, with an estimated price tag of around $20 million. This financial barrier limits the diversity and accessibility of productions on Broadway, creating a challenging environment for emerging talent.

The Call for Government Support

Lloyd Webber made a passionate plea for increased government support for the theatre industry. He urged policymakers to recognize the immense value that theatre brings to the economy and to invest accordingly. The composer’s call aligns with the efforts of industry organizations such as the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre, which are advocating for the maintenance of the higher rate of Theatre Tax Relief. This tax relief has proven effective in generating growth and attracting investment in theatrical productions across the UK.

Theatre’s Contribution to Local Economies

Claire Walker, co-CEO of SOLT & UK Theatre, echoed Lloyd Webber’s sentiments, emphasizing the positive impact of theatre on local economies. She highlighted that for every £1 spent on a theatre ticket, an additional spend of £1.40 is generated in local economies, resulting in a total of £1.94 billion per year of added value. Walker stressed the importance of government investment in productions to maintain this economic growth and secure the future of the industry.


Andrew Lloyd Webber’s impassioned plea for investors to prioritize British theatre over Broadway sheds light on the economic benefits and potential of the UK’s theatrical landscape. The composer’s call for increased government support aligns with industry organizations’ efforts to maintain Theatre Tax Relief and foster growth. By recognizing the value of theatre in stimulating local economies, policymakers and investors can contribute to the continued success and vibrancy of the UK’s thriving theatre industry.






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