Theatre company Really Useful Group has brought in a production of The Phantom of the Opera from China to tour the EU, because Brexit red tape made it “too expensive” to use a British one, a DCMS Committee has heard.
Really Useful Group promotes Andrew Lloyd Webber’s shows around the world. Its president, Jessica Koravos, told the committee she “would not dream of sending a UK production into Europe” under current circumstances.
She said it was “more straightforward and less expensive” to bring in a production from China 5,000 miles away.
The comment formed part of a DCMS Committee session on promoting Britain abroad, held earlier this week.
DCMS Chair Julian Knight said the situation “means that the mask has well and truly slipped on the true extent of the problems faced by the UK arts sector”.
“That one of the all-time great British musical impresarios would not now dream of taking a production rich in West End heritage into the EU from Britain speaks volumes about the impact of the government’s approach to supporting touring creatives.
“The current EU visa arrangements are proving economically disastrous for our cultural industries by forcing them to play second fiddle to their international competitors.”