BAZ BAMIGBOYE: There's a musicals feast in store for Britain's Got Talent 

Cameron Mackintosh was in his element, sitting in the circle of the Prince Edward Theatre, surveying a 70-strong company rehearse an important lyric change to the Les Miz anthem One More Day, one which transformed it into a declarative One More Show!

'One More Day has become a song of survival,' the theatre-owner and impresario told me. 'And, we will survive.'

Mackintosh and the producers of Britain's Got Talent had assembled members of the casts from three of Mackintosh's biggest hits: Les Miserables, Phantom Of The Opera and Mary Poppins.

Cameron Mackintosh was in his element, sitting in the circle of the Prince Edward Theatre, surveying a 70-strong company rehearse an important lyric change to the Les Miz anthem One More Day, one which transformed it into a declarative One More Show!

Cameron Mackintosh was in his element, sitting in the circle of the Prince Edward Theatre, surveying a 70-strong company rehearse an important lyric change to the Les Miz anthem One More Day, one which transformed it into a declarative One More Show!

Not a soul got beyond the stage door until they'd undergone temperature checks and had nose and throat swabs taken (me included).

The segment on BGT will open with Zizi Strallen dropping in from the heavens; then joining Charlie Stemp to perform Step In Time from Mary Poppins. 

'Mary will magically conjure the theatres back to life,' Mackintosh explained, of what to expect from tomorrow night's programme (ITV, 7.30pm).

Killian Donnelly and Holly-Anne Hull from Phantom Of The Opera will sail onto the BGT set in the Phantom's boat; while Michael Ball — along with John Owen-Jones, Matt Lucas, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Shan Ako, Amara Okereke and Katy Secombe from the Les Miz concert ensemble — will raise the roof with One More Show. 

And as if that wasn't enough, Mackintosh promised a finale of wiz-bang proportions, to finish off the night. 'We will celebrate what it is to perform again!' he insisted.

He told me the big West End shows won't return until April (Broadway probably not until next September), by which time he hoped the social distancing rules would be lifted.

The major musicals, with their mammoth sets and machinery, cannot operate with a physically-distanced backstage crew, let alone the economic pitfalls of a socially- distanced audience.

'We have to learn to embrace this, as safely as possible,' he said. 'The show must go on — life must go on! — or more collateral damage to health and the economy is going to be done.'

When I suggested that he'd been rather quiet of late — unlike his colleague Andrew Lloyd Webber — he bristled, looked me straight in the eye (the only bit of my face he could see, with my mask on) and retorted: 'I ain't been quiet!'

He said he had been in 'constant collaborative contact' with major producers, here and on Broadway, attempting to chart a way forward. He's also been looking at ideas for smaller-scale shows, to fill the theatres in the run-up to spring.

Not a soul got beyond the stage door until they¿d undergone temperature checks and had nose and throat swabs taken (me included). The segment on BGT will open with Zizi Strallen dropping in from the heavens; then joining Charlie Stemp to perform Step In Time from Mary Poppins

Not a soul got beyond the stage door until they'd undergone temperature checks and had nose and throat swabs taken (me included). The segment on BGT will open with Zizi Strallen dropping in from the heavens; then joining Charlie Stemp to perform Step In Time from Mary Poppins

'I don't waste my time until I've got something to say,' he continued. 'One thing I've been consistent on is that I've told the truth. I haven't tried to pretend there's some rosy-coloured version of events.' 

His eight London theatres — all shut — cost £250,000 a week to maintain. And when they re-open, the bills will be even higher. He estimated that the bigger shows would require £2.5 to £3.5 million — apiece — to get back on their feet. 

'I believe they'll grow again, but we're in showbusiness, and that's in the lap of the public, coming back.'

He said he'd been heartened by the Open Air and the Bridge theatres — and new musical Sleepless — opening for limited runs; and the apparent healthy box office advance for the musical Six.

'People want to go out again!' he declared. 'There are green shoots in the theatre ... and I want them to be trees.'

I asked if he and Lloyd Webber were still speaking, given the whispers of tension between them over the future of Phantom in the West End; exacerbated by the development of Mackintosh's new touring version.

Smiling, he said that he and the maestro had enjoyed a convivial supper just a few days ago.

'Andrew has been entirely involved with every decision to do with Phantom in London, because he not only co-owns the rights, but he owns the theatre,' he said, insisting the new version of the musical would be back on at Her Majesty's before next autumn. Maybe even sooner.

He added that the composer had caught

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