London, Aug 7 : English composer and musical theatre impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber has admitted that he was wrong to predict a West End "bloodbath" during the London Olympics, after figures showed takings for his theatres have risen by 25 per cent since the Games began.
Lloyd-Webber's theatres are currently hosting Matilda the Musical, The Phantom of the Opera, The Wizard of Oz, War Horse and Shrek, and box office takings for the first seven days of the Games were up 250,000 pounds on the previous week, according to figures.
"I'm the one who said it would all be doom and gloom in the West End, but I have been proved wrong and I couldn't be more delighted about that," The Telegraph quoted Lloyd-Webber, as saying.
Lloyd-Webber claimed that while the number of foreign tourists in the West End is down, domestic visitors are flocking to the theatre.
"I thought nobody would come to London and I said at Christmas it would be a very difficult time for the West End. So suddenly we see this huge upturn, and what's interesting is that they are clearly all Brits. I know London seems dead and restaurants are struggling, but the theatre really is doing okay," he admitted.
Lloyd-Webber said he considered closing The Wizard of Oz for the duration of the Games but decided against it and the show, which is running at the London Palladium, rose 100,000 pounds week on week.
"I took the decision to keep The Wizard of Oz open and I was very worried about that, but it's a decision that has proved completely right," he said.
Lloyd-Webber's comments came as separate figures showed an increase in sales on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street last week, and footfall up 11.6 per cent on the previous seven days, the paper said. (ANI)