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Andrew Lloyd Webber clarifies ‘costly mistake’ remark did not refer to Cinderella musical

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Andrew Lloyd Webber has clarified his earlier remarks in which he was thought to have called his Cinderella production a “costly mistake”.

On Sunday evening (12 June), the West End production took its last bow at Gillian Lynne Theatre in London. While the show’s composer was not in attendance, a letter Webber penned was read aloud in his absence, resulting in jeers from the audience.

Now, in a new Instagram story posted on Monday (13 June), Webber has addressed criticism over his comments, insisting that he was not referencing the production itself.

“I am devastated to have been reported to have said that my beloved production of Cinderella was a ‘costly mistake,’” he began.

“Nothing could be further from the truth, and I am very sorry if my words have been misunderstood.”

Webber continued: “I adore this production and I am incredibly, incredibly proud of Cinderella and everyone who has been involved in our show.

“We were desperate to support the West End after two years of a devastating pandemic and the mistake we made was trying to open too early, meaning we had to postpone twice,” he clarified.

People queuing to go into the Gillian Lynne Theatre in Drury Lane, London, to see the last performance of Cinderella. The Andrew Lloyd Webber production has now closed, less than a year after its premiere (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
People queuing to go into the Gillian Lynne Theatre in Drury Lane, London, to see the last performance of Cinderella. The Andrew Lloyd Webber production has now closed, less than a year after its premiere (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

“Everything we did was to try and support the West End and get everyone back to work after the worst period in our history.”

He concluded: “For now, I want to say thank you to everyone involved in Cinderella for all you have done.”

On 2 May, it was announced that the West End production would close less than a year after its official opening.

The production opened in August 2021 after several pandemic-related delays. It was later forced to pause operations due to a Covid spike in London.

Early reports claimed that the current cast members were notified of the cancellation minutes before the show, with other future cast members claiming they only found out via social media.

In a statement provided to The Independent, a representative for Lloyd Webber denied these reports, saying: “The timeline being reported online is not correct. The entire company working yesterday were told in person after the matinee performance.”

You can read The Independent’s three-star review of Cinderella here.

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