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Some West End Musicals, Including Six, Plan to Return in November

Distanced, tested, live. Photo: Eleanor Howarth

At the moment, amid the COVID pandemic, Broadway won’t return to performances until at least 2021, but across the pond, some producers have announced plans to get musicals up and running as early as this November. Per the BBC, a number of plays have announced plans to return to performances in October — including the long-running Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap — while musicals are making plans to return in November. Among them, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and the hit historical pop musical Six. The latter only features a six-person cast plus a band onstage, which would make it easier to accommodate various health guidelines, but as the New York Times notes, a recent rise in coronavirus cases in Britain has cast doubt on reopening plans. The show is currently aiming for an 11-week run, starting November 14, with the theater operating at a reduced capacity, and choreography rejiggered so that the wives are not singing directly at each other. Previously, the show’s producer Kenny Wax had announced plans for a drive-in tour of Six this summer, which was later canceled over concerns about COVID hot spots on the planned tour stops.

Britain’s theater world has received much more government support than America’s (which has gotten very, very little), but still remains on the precipice. Most major West End shows have said they will remain closed for at least the rest of the year, while Britain’s culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, has said he is working on “Operation Sleeping Beauty” to get theaters open by Christmas. Andrew Lloyd Webber, meanwhile, remains a high-profile face pushing for reopening, as he plans a spring 2021 debut of his new version of Cinderella and even participates in a (now-suspended) vaccine trial himself.

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West End Musicals, Led by Six, Plan to Return in November