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UPDATE, July 23 The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cinderella will restart performances in London next month following what proved to be a temporary halt rather than the “closure” initially suggested by the composer.
In a Tweet this morning, the production said, “We are pleased to announce that performances of Cinderella will return on Wednesday 18th August. Thank you for your understanding, we cannot wait to reopen our doors and welcome you all back to Belleville once again.” (Belleville is the fairy tale town in which the musical takes place.)
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Earlier this week, Webber canceled the musical’s previously announced July 20 opening night after a cast member tested positive for Covid. The composer blamed what was then the indefinite “closure” of the West End musical on “the blunt instrument that is the Government’s isolation guidance” regarding Covid-19.
We are pleased to announce that performances of Cinderella will return on Wednesday 18th August.
Thank you for your understanding, we cannot wait to reopen our doors and welcome you all back to Belleville once again. 🖤 https://t.co/OpPvc4glA4
— Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella (@ALWCinderella) July 23, 2021
PREVIOUS, July 20 Andrew Lloyd Webber says he is “determined” to bring his on-pause (at least) Cinderella musical to London, though he can’t provide a timeline, telling a UK newspaper, “who knows when we will open here? 2084?”
The composer announced yesterday that he would not open Tuesday night as planned following the positive Covid test on Saturday of a cast member.
The $8.1 million musical, with a a book by Emerald Fennell and lyrics by David Zippel, was to have resumed performances Monday and officially opened Tuesday night at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in the West End after two weekend performances had been canceled due to the Covid case.
Despite using the word “closure” and saying the production had been “forced into a devastating decision which will affect the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of people and disappoint the thousands who have booked to see the show,” Webber on Monday did not explicitly rule out a West End return for Cinderella, and he seems to be giving himself even more wiggle room in his new interview with UK’s The Telegraph.
“I am determined to get Cinderella open here,” a still gloomy Webber says in the interview. “There are voices saying ‘Come on, forget Britain, do it on Broadway’. I’m not going to do that but who knows when we will open here? 2084? There comes a time when we simply won’t be able to go on, there does come a time, we are pretty much at that point.”
Webber, an outspoken critic of the UK government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown, adds, “What I can’t get to grips with is that this Government does not seem to understand that theatre is the lifeblood of our cities. Every other country seems to have done so, America has grasped this. It’s not just about our actors, it’s about all the people who depend on us, it’s the taxi drivers, the restaurants, the dry cleaners. It’s an endless list and they don’t seem to understand that theatre is a huge revenue earner.”
Cinderella is expected to remain dark at least through this week, with no reopening dates yet announced. A note on the website of his LW Theatres (which includes the Gillian Lynne venue)tells ticket-holders, “We will be in touch as soon as we can to reschedule your dates. Please bear with us and don’t contact us until we’ve contacted you.”
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