The end of musicals?

Stephen Beard Jan 4, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The end of musicals?

Stephen Beard Jan 4, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Music theater could be doomed in Britain according to one the country’s most successful composers. Andrew Lloyd Webber who wrote such hits as Cats and Phantom of Opera says wireless microphones could become too expensive for theaters use. From London, Stephen Beards reports.


STEPHEN BEARD: Lloyd Webber has three hit shows running in London, including his version of the Sound of Music.

But he warns the sound in the seven West End theatres he owns could become inaudible. The wireless mics his productions rely on could get too expensive to run.

Britain’s telecom regulator is to blame, he says. The regulator is planning to auction off to the highest bidder the airwaves used by theatres and concert venues.

A cell phone company with deep pockets is likely to win. The fees could then soar and the theatres could be priced out.

The regulator refuses to listen to the growing chorus of disapproval. Lloyd Webber warns the West End could fall silent, .that the end of Musical Theatre in Britain is nigh.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.