'Finally!' - Andrew Lloyd Webber thanks team as Cinderella opens in West End

19 August 2021, 10:41

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Andrew Lloyd Webber's much delayed Cinderella has been hailed as a triumph by critics with the composer saying he could not quite believe it had finally made it to the stage.

Speaking to the audience before the show on Wednesday night, Lloyd Webber said: “I’m pinching myself – I can’t quite believe we’re here” and vowed that “short of a passing asteroid hitting us” the show would go on after battling through a pandemic, and a pingdemic.

The £6 million production, playing at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, was forced to close in July after one cast member tested positive for Covid, but now the award-winning composer's reinvention of the classic fairytale has finally launched.

Carrie Hope Fletcher bows at the curtain call
Carrie Hope Fletcher bows at the curtain call. Picture: Getty

The show was delayed until this week when double-jabbed people no longer have to quarantine – a delay costing £500,000, according to the Telegraph.

The composer said that theatre fans “all over the country have been frankly messed around” by delays caused by the pingdemic.

Earlier in the week Lord Lloyd Webber thanked St John Ambulance volunteers at a dress rehearsal for the new musical.

Key workers and others who have volunteered during the pandemic were invited to attend the show at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London's West End.

The musical, written by Oscar-winner Emerald Fennell and starring Carrie Hope Fletcher in the title role, wowed the critics.

(L to R) Carrie Hope Fletcher, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ivano Turco bow at the curtain call during the press night performance of "Cinderella"
(L to R) Carrie Hope Fletcher, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ivano Turco bow at the curtain call during the press night performance of "Cinderella". Picture: Getty

The Evening Standard’s Nick Curtis gave it four stars saying the “sassy, sarky” show was worth the wait.

The opening comes after the production was wracked by delays which saw Lord Lloyd Webber hit out at "the impossible conditions created by the blunt instrument that is the Government's self-isolation guidance".

The peer even told LBC's Nick Ferrari that he regretted taking the Tory whip in the House of Lords over how the government would treat the arts during the pandemic.