12 AUGUST 1972, Page 11

Will Waspe

Not everything has been roses for Robert Stigwood with his very hot property, Jesus Christ Superstar. A fair amount of the global profit has gone into lawyers' fees in bringing suits to restrain unauthorised versions being produced — including even one in Australia against a convent, whose nuns evidently thought that any treatment of the gospel story was in the public domain. Nevertheless, the Stigwood group will be paying a 71 per cent interim dividend in October.

Maintaining that dividend rate is very much dependent on the success of the £120,000 London production, and although advance bookings have been vast, stockholders are keeping their fingers crossed. They know that the Paris production, which had been confidently expected to duplicate the New York success, was a costly flop — losing about £80,000 — and. in fact, other projected European stagings have been called off for the moment.

Eastern promise

It is likely to take at least a year to complete arrangements for a London exhibition of Chinese antiquities which, as Mr Anthony Kershaw told the Commons on Monday, "has now been agreed in principle" by the British and Chinese governments. Though no precise details are officially available, it can be taken as certain that the basis of the show will be the contents of the tombs of Prince Liu Sheng and his consort, uncovered in the Peking region about four years ago. They yielded thousands of priceless pieces — in gold, silver and jade — buried over 2,000 years ago. While other venues may bid hopefully for an exhibition which, with a suitable promotional campaign, could match the appeal of the King Tut show, the negotiators are unlikely to look beyond the British Museum. The chairman of the museum's trustees, Lord Trevelyan, is known to have a special interest in such a demonstration of Anglc-Chinese cooperation. He is of course, a former Chargé d'Affaires in Peking.