Andrew Lloyd Webber 'devastated' after Cinderella postponed over Covid

21 December 2021, 17:58 | Updated: 21 December 2021, 22:36

Andrew Lloyd Webber has been forced to close Cinderella until the new year.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has been forced to close Cinderella until the new year. Picture: LBC

By Emma Soteriou

Andrew Lloyd Webber has said he is "devastated" that his production of Cinderella has been forced to close due to uncertainty caused by Covid.

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The show has been postponed until 2022 "to avoid more disruption" due to the virus.

Cinderella had previously been paused last week due to "Covid-related absences".

In a statement on Twitter, Lord Lloyd Webber - who has "devoted" his life to musical theatre - said: "Once again, this wretched virus has put paid to the joy of entertaining audiences, something that I hold so dear.

"Sadly this is the right thing to do, not just for the safety of our cast, musicians and backstage crew, but for the quality of the show we give our audiences who travel long distances and make significant investments to come and see us.

"Rest assured, Cinderella will re-open as soon as this wave is licked and we know we can give our audiences the fantastic time they deserve."

Read more: Lord Lloyd Webber: Vaccine passports are a small price to pay to avoid more lockdowns

Read more: Sunak pledges £1bn support to desperate businesses over Xmas as Omicron cases soar

The production said the spread of the Omicron variant was "devastating", especially with several other shows - including Hamilton and the Lion King - also having been forced to close as a result in recent days.

On Twitter, they said: "We are passionately committed to returning sooner if the circumstances improve and we will keep the situation under constant review."

The whole industry has begun to suffer again at the hands of coronavirus, with pantomimes also being forced to axe performances during their peak period over Christmas.

Almost half of London’s major theatres were forced to cancel performances last weekend alone, according to the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM).

A YouGov poll for the ISM found that the majority of the UK (71 per cent) backed the Government’s financial support for those working in music and theatre. 

It comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged £1 billion in funding for businesses to survive the latest surge in cases.

Some £30 million will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund, enabling more cultural organisations in England to apply for support during the difficult time.

The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) welcomed the announcement adding: "This is a clear signal that the Chancellor and HM Treasury understand the challenges facing our theatres and other cultural businesses."