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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 May 2006, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
Lloyd-Webber calls for tax breaks
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber's hits include Cats and Phantom of the Opera
Composer Lord Lloyd-Webber has urged young theatre writers to take more risks during a debate on arts in the House of Lords.

The peer, whose West End hits include Phantom of the Opera, Cats and Evita, also called for tax breaks to boost commercial theatres.

"We are not really seeing the young writers, or risks being taken in my particular area," he said.

The debate was on the role of the arts in the economy and in society.


Lloyd-Webber called for "the same sort of tax advantages that are given to film and television, to be extended to commercial theatre".

He said if that were done it "would be of extraordinary value, not just in musical theatre but I think to the many who are trying to produce plays commercially."

The composer has previously said that commercial theatres were unable to compete with the kind of grants being given out to subsidised venues.

Opening the Lords debate, broadcaster and writer Lord Bragg said while the overall picture was positive, the arts still needed much more investment.

"There are also fears that the Olympic project will swallow too much leisure subsidy and strip back the arts, that won't do," he said.

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