Andrew Lloyd Webber criticizes isolation guidelines as a pause in music – after only one case
Andrew Lloyd Webber slams ‘illogical and destructive’ isolation guidelines as he shuts down his £6m Cinderella music – after just one case
The devastated Andrew Lloyd Webber has blamed ‘illogical and destructive’ government isolation guidelines for the indefinite shutdown of his £6m Cinderella musical.
The theater manager told the Daily Mail he will not raise the curtain until “common sense” prevails after he was forced to announce his cancellation hours before his first night with a full audience yesterday.
The 73-year-old producer, whose offer was to signal the reopening of the West End, said there was only one positive case among the entire cast and crew. But under the government’s guidance on isolation, dubbed the pandemic, he said he couldn’t keep running.
The 73-year-old producer, whose bid has been to signal the reopening of the West End, said there was only one positive case among the entire cast and crew.
Under the government’s isolation guidelines, dubbed the pandemic, Webber said he can’t keep running
He said, ‘We don’t want to see any final curtain on any part of the theater industry. Theater is the dynamo for many jobs. In addition to actors and production crews, we create opportunities beyond the stage – for chefs and waiters, clothing rental and taxi drivers, bus drivers and dry cleaners.
He said employees working in production were devastated because they were “safety conscious like an army base”.
He added: ‘We have a system in place in our theater that tests people so that no positive person enters the building. All of our employees feel devastated as virus detection punctures our ability to create work and jobs rather than protect them. The current policy is illogical and harmful.
“We will open our doors again when the use of existing tests is acknowledged and common sense prevails.” Lord Lloyd Webber said he made the “painful” decision yesterday. He said in a statement, “Today, on this ‘Freedom Day’, I had to make the heartbreaking decision not to open my Cinderella. Two shows scheduled for Saturday have been cancelled. All the cast and crew were negative after auditions over the weekend and Monday morning.”
Lord Lloyd Webber, who spent £1m a month keeping his theaters afloat, claimed he was ready to face arrest by opening at full capacity.
He said, “Nevertheless, the impossible conditions created by the blunt instrument of directing the government into isolation meant we could not continue. Cinderella was ready to go. It is impossible to describe my grief for our cast, crew, loyal audience, and industry for which I was fighting.”
Carrie Hope Fletcher, who plays Cinderella, wrote on Instagram: ‘Very sorry to everyone who has tickets to so many shows. [that] I’m not going forward… From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry. The show, written by The Crown star Emerald Fennell, opened June 25 at the Gillian Lynne Theater with 50 percent of the audience.
Lord Lloyd Webber, who spent £1m a month keeping his theaters afloat, claimed he was ready to face arrest by opening at full capacity at the time. But he backed out after being told that staff and the public would all face individual fines.