July 19 (Reuters) – Musical theater impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber on Monday canceled the opening of his new London production of ‘Cinderella’ and said he had no idea when it would take place, accusing the “impossible conditions” imposed by the British government.
Lloyd Webber said someone in the cast tested positive for the coronavirus, but the quarantine and isolation rules for the rest of the cast – all tested negative – meant the show couldn’t open as planned Tuesday.
“I was forced to make the heartbreaking decision not to open my ‘Cinderella’,” Lloyd Webber said in a statement.
“The impossible conditions created by the blunt instrument of the government’s isolation directive mean that we cannot continue,” he added.
The modern take on “Cinderella” was a new high profile musical after theaters closed for almost 18 months due to the pandemic.
Lloyd Webber said he has no idea when “Cinderella” might take place. “I can’t answer,” the composer told reporters. “We’re going to open here, but who knows? 2084? “
Lloyd Webber, the creator of hit shows including ‘Cats’ and ‘Phantom of the Opera’, is one of the most influential and successful figures in the theater world and has been a key voice urging support for the theater. during the pandemic.
With music by Lloyd Webber and a story by Oscar-winning screenwriter Emerald Fennell, “Cinderella” had already suffered several delays due to changing UK government-ordered restrictions on quarantine, social distancing and ability. indoor entertainment venues.
“The theater is now on its knees,” Lloyd Webber said. “We can’t isolate every time someone may or may not have it. “
The government on Monday ended more than a year of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in England, but the so-called Freedom Day was marred by an increase in infections, warnings of shortages in supermarkets and the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s forced self-isolation.
“Freedom Day has become a day of closure,” Lloyd Webber said in his statement.
Reporting by Lisa Keddie and Jill Serjeant, edited by Rosalba O’Brien and Cynthia Osterman
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