Speaking of new plays, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber called to explain what really happened to that joint producing venture with Hal Prince, a company whose birth announcement in the New York Times seven years ago was also its obituary. When the plan was announced, he said, he was but a mere shareholder in his own company, Really Useful, and the board was devoutly against the plan.
“I did not manage to pull rank,” Sir Andrew said. “I felt, ‘Nobody is listening to me.’ It was very early, maybe the first time I clashed with the board.” Now here comes a rare, double Lloyd Webber “at the end of the day”: “I got so frustrated at the end of the day, that at the end of the day I had to buy it back.”
“It” was, of course, Really Useful. Despite his initial enthusiasm for the visionary project, Lloyd Webber never pursued the deal. “There’s always a time for everything,” he said. “I think that moment was, very sadly, lost. Events have moved on, to a certain degree. I certainly feel sorry it didn’t happen.”