Andrew Lloyd Webber calls West End ‘Cinderella’ a ‘costly mistake’

Andrew Lloyd Webber calls West End ‘Cinderella’ a ‘costly mistake’

The West End production of ‘Cinderella’ bowed out in London on Sunday evening, although a key member of the production’s creative team was not present at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, who composed the music for the new adaptation of the classic fairy tale, did not appear on the scene in the flesh.

Instead, the musical theater titan penned a letter which was read aloud by production manager Laurence Connor, thanking production members before calling the effort a “costly mistake” – a comment that was met with resounding boos.

“I am extremely sorry that I cannot be with you today, but I want to thank everyone from our fabulous cast, crew and musicians, the superb creative team, Laurence,” Connor read aloud, s’ stopping to indicate that Webber was thanking him. , before listing other key contributors. “I keep thinking that if only we had opened three months later, we wouldn’t have had to postpone our opening twice because of COVID…I promise you we’d be here a very long time.”

“My huge thank you to all. We have kept the Government’s feet on the flames and led the charge towards reopening the West End,” Webber’s statement continued. “It may have been a costly mistake, but I I’m proud of what we’ve done and I’ll always be grateful to everyone who supported me.”

The recitation of the “expensive mistake” resulted in murmurs among the audience and looks of visible confusion from the entire production as they stood on stage.

“‘Cinderella’ has received some of the best reviews of my career and I’m immensely proud of that and it’s a huge thanks to all of you. All my love, Andrew,” Webber’s statement concluded. After a brief pause, a Twenty or so jeers engulfed the auditorium, including Webber’s name already booed earlier in the curtain call, following Connor’s announcement that the composer had sent a letter instead of his presence.

“Cinderella” has had a rocky road over the past few months. The production, with lyrics by David Zippel and a book by “Promising Young Woman” writer-director Emerald Fennell, finally opened in August 2021 after several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Cinderella” was forced to suspend operations over the ensuing holiday season due to a surge of COVID-19 in London at the time.

“Cinderella” is just one of many troubled productions in the theater industry, which has continued to face limited attendance and unpredictable suspensions due to the pandemic. The cast and crew were told of the show’s impending shutdown in early May in an abrupt announcement that sparked compensation claims from Equity, the union for performers and creative workers.

Representatives for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Emerald Fennell could not immediately be reached. Variety has also contacted Equity for comment. The Society of London Theaters had no comment.

“What I feel about this production is that we’ve created something really special,” Connor told the audience during his own call-in statement. “On that day, watching that final performance with everyone, that’s how I want us to go.”

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