Andrew Lloyd Webber is reportedly calling on the government to trial a chemical he claims could potentially be a “game-changer” when it comes to getting theatres open.
The composer has been vocal about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the theatre world, which has been badly hit, with venues closed and live performances put on hold.
And according to a report in the Daily Mail, he now wants ministers to look at trialling triethylene glycol (TEG), with the idea being that a chemical spray could be pumped into indoor venues to help sanitise them.
Watch: Theatre Companies Turning To Broadway On Demand As Pandemic Shutdown Continues
The theatre impresario, 72, apparently offered to test whether the substance could be used safely at his London Palladium theatre.
However, his proposal has not got off the ground so far.
The Mail quoted Lloyd Webber as saying: “All we are is saying is, ‘Look, you should trial this.’
“Because if it is safe it could be a game-changer for schools and any form of indoor public space.”
He went on: “To be absolutely fair, the government side is really quite interested. But it seems it has hit (a wall) with the health people once again.”
The publication quoted a Health and Safety Executive spokesperson as saying that according to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), there was currently “limited evidence that the use of chemical sprays such as TEG will be effective to clean the air and reduce airborne virus transmission risks in occupied spaces”.
Lloyd Webber, whose production of Cinderella is due to open in the spring, has previously said the theatre world needs to remain positive.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in June, he said it had been “absolutely awful to see everything that I’ve loved in my life gone”.
“I really believe that we in theatre must be positive and use everything we can to demonstrate we can open,” he said. “If having done that we fail, at least we’ve tried.”
Watch: Andrew Lloyd Webber feels safe after trialling COVID vaccine