A devastated Andrew Lloyd Webber has blamed the government’s ‘illogical and damaging’ isolation guidelines for the indefinite shutdown of his £ 6million musical Cinderella.
The theater manager told the Daily Mail he would not raise the curtain until “common sense prevails” after being forced to announce his cancellation hours before his first night with a full audience yesterday.
The 73-year-old producer, whose show was scheduled to signal the reopening of the West End, said there had been only one positive case among all of the cast and crew. But under the guidance of the government isolation, dubbed the pingdemia, he said he couldn’t continue the race.
The 73-year-old producer, whose show was scheduled to signal the reopening of the West End, said there has been only one positive case among the entire cast and crew.
Under government isolation guidelines, dubbed the pingemia, Mr Webber said he could not continue the race
He said: “We don’t want to see any final curtain on any part of the theater industry. The theater is the dynamo of so many jobs. In addition to actors and production staff, we create opportunities far beyond the stage – for chefs and waiters, costume hire and taxi drivers, bus drivers and dry cleaners. ‘
He said the production staff were “devastated” because they “were as concerned about security as a military base”.
He added, “We have a system in place in our theater that tests people so that no positives even enter the building. All of our staff are devastated that a virus detection system is undermining our ability to create work and jobs rather than protecting them. The current policy is illogical and damaging.
“We will reopen when the use of existing tests is recognized and common sense prevails. Lord Lloyd-Webber said he made the “heartbreaking” decision yesterday. He said in a statement: “Today, on this ‘Freedom Day’, I was forced to make the heartbreaking decision not to open my Cinderella. Two scheduled shows were canceled on Saturday. All of the cast and crew were negative after weekend and Monday morning testing.
Lord Lloyd-Webber, who spends £ 1million a month to keep his cinemas afloat, had claimed he would have been prepared to be shut down by opening at full capacity.
He said: “Despite this, the impossible conditions created by the blunt instrument of the government’s isolation directive mean that we cannot continue. Cinderella was ready to go. My sadness for our cast and crew, our loyal following and the industry I fight for is impossible to express.
Carrie Hope Fletcher, who plays Cinderella, wrote on Instagram: “I’m sorry to anyone who had tickets for the number of performances [that] won’t go ahead… from the bottom of my heart I’m so, so sorry. The show, written by The Crown star Emerald Fennell, premiered on June 25 at the Gillian Lynne Theater with an audience capacity of 50%.
Lord Lloyd-Webber, who spent £ 1million a month to keep his cinemas afloat, had claimed he would have been prepared to be shut down by then opening at full capacity. But he recanted after learning that staff and members of the public would all face individual fines.