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Last Updated: Friday, 8 July, 2005, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
West End returning to normality
The stars of Billy Elliot
West End musicals like Billy Elliot will go ahead as planned
Theatres, cinemas and other venues in the capital are opening as normal after closing on Thursday in the wake of the London bomb blasts.

However, REM and Queen's weekend gigs in Hyde Park remain cancelled.

The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) said all West End shows would go ahead. Many performances will be preceded by a minute's silence as a mark of respect.

"The shows must go on," said Andrew Lloyd Webber. "London's theatres are open for business as usual."

"Despite the horrific events on Thursday morning both the management, performers and production staff are totally committed to making sure that the curtain goes up," he said.

Lord Lloyd-Webber, whose Really Useful company runs 12 West End venues, said extra security precautions would be taken and asked theatregoers to be vigilant.

'Determined'

Cinema chains in London are also back open - as are the National Film Theatre and the Royal Opera House.

All West End theatres will resume normal service today
Society of London Theatre

All weekend shows at the Shepherds Bush Empire are going ahead as planned, according to the venue's website.

"Like the rest of London, theatre people are absolutely determined that life shall go on as normal," said Richard Pulford, chief executive of SOLT.

"Tonight they will take to our stages, man our box offices and care for our audiences as they always have.

"London is the theatre capital of the world and will remain so despite yesterday's atrocities."

Rescheduled

Thursday's shutdown was the first time London's theatres had closed for security reasons since the Blitz.

Sum 41 and The Prodigy were among the bands who cancelled concerts on Thursday.

Andrew Lloyd Webber
"The shows must go on," said Andrew Lloyd Webber
Blue also called off their performance at Wembley Pavilion, though the group's management said their Friday and Saturday gigs would still go ahead.

The Hyde Park shows were postponed on the advice of the Safety Advisory Group, which includes the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, Westminster City Council, The Royal Parks and promoters Clear Channel.

All tickets will be valid for the rescheduled shows on 15 and 16 July, or fans can get a refund.

"We're all devastated to wake up and see the appalling bombing in London," said Queen guitarist Brian May on Thursday.

"Our hearts go out to all those innocents so cruelly attacked."


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