Andrew Lloyd Webber Cancels ‘Cinderella’ Show: Government’s COVID Isolation Guidance Forced This ‘Devastating Decision’
Legendary Broadway composer Andrew Lloyd Webber announced on Monday the cancellation of his Cinderella show, citing the “impossible conditions created by the blunt instrument that is the Government’s isolation guidance.”
“Today, on this ‘Freedom Day,’ I have been forced to take the heart-breaking decision not to open my Cinderella,” he announced on Monday, giving a bit of background on the “rigorous testing system for all the cast and backstage crew before they begin work.”
On Saturday, they identified one cast member, who played a cameo role in the show, who tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus. As a result, they took the precautionary measure to cancel two shows on Saturday while they “carried out further tests on everyone backstage, which were negative.”
“Any of those who were identified as a close contact of the positive case were given additional PCR tests. These tests too were negative. This morning we carried out additional tests on those due to perform tonight. Every one of them was negative,” he said.
British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, centre, director Trevor Nunn, left, and choreographer Gillian Lynne, right, pose for the photographers with performers in cat costumes, during a photo-op to promote the return of the musical Cats, in central London, Monday, July 7, 2014. The show, based on T.S Eliot’s ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’, will return to the West End for a limited 12-week run from Dec, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
“Despite this, the impossible conditions created by the blunt instrument that is the Government’s isolation guidance, mean that we cannot continue. We have 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,” he announced.
Andrew Lloyd Webber speaks onstage at the first-ever revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic CATS on Broadway on July 31, 2016 in New York City. (Noam Galai/Getty Images for CATS)
“Cinderella was ready to go. My sadness for our cast and crew, our loyal audience and the industry I have been fighting for is impossible to put into words,” he continued. “Freedom Day has turned into closure day.”
Last month, Lloyd Webber confidently stated he was prepared for arrest if the British government did not lift coronavirus restrictions, stating that they were “going to open, come hell or high water”:
Asked by The Daily Telegraph what he would do if the government postponed the lifting of restrictions, he said: “We will say: ‘Come to the theatre and arrest us’.”
He also promised to either sue the government or demand compensation if his new show could not open, outlining the huge financial burden of closures.
Previews of the show began at half-capacity on June 25, and July 19 was set as the day for a full capacity show.
Last month, a government scientific adviser suggested Britons “may not see the end of Chinese coronavirus restrictions in July, saying that the UK ‘may have to do further lockdowns this Winter,’” as Breitbart News reported.