In response to the extensive coverage of his speech at the London Press Club Awards, Andrew Lloyd Webber said:
“I am delighted there has been so much interest in my speech to the London Press Club Awards in which I elaborated on what John Betjeman wrote about the architecture of entertainment being by definition impermanent and needing to adapt to changing theatrical taste.
“Whilst some West End theatres have architectural merit, it is important to remember their purpose. I believe theatre owners need a more flexible planning environment, which allows us to adapt our performance spaces for contemporary needs.
“The majority of West End theatre owners are constantly re-investing and caring for their buildings. In my case, every penny of profit made in Really Useful Theatres is re-invested in the buildings. But we are dealing with theatres built for a different audience in a different era. We cannot allow our theatres to be fossilised for purely preservationist reasons.”