The theatre mogul said he had been forced to postpone his show until next year to avoid further disruption, as the Omicron variant of Covid-19 sends cases rocketing around the UK, particularly in London where the show was taking place.
“Once again, this wretched virus has put paid to the joy of entertaining audiences, something that I hold so dear,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Sadly this is the right thing to do, not just for the safety of our cast, musicians and backstage crew, but for the quality of the show we give our audiences who travel long distances and make significant investments to come and see us.
“Rest assured, Cinderella will re-open as soon as this wave is licked and we know we can give our audiences the fantastic time they deserve.”
The show had been cancelled last week due to “Covid-related absences”. Productions of Hamilton and The Lion King were also called off.
The Cinderella Twitter account said the cancellations had been “incredibly difficult”.
“The spread of the omicron variant is devastating. Like so many theatres up and down the country, day after day we are forced to make decisions (often at short notice) based on the latest round of test results,” the statement said.
An update on upcoming performances. pic.twitter.com/P6mtY2v9o2
— Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella (@ALWCinderella) December 21, 2021
“To avoid more disruption, and to protect the quality of the show we give our audiences, we have no option but to suspend all performances of Cinderella until 9th February 2022.
“We are passionately committed to returning sooner if the circumstances improve and we will keep the situation under constant review.”
The government was criticised by members of the music industry today (21 December) for its announcement of the addition of £30 million to its Cultural Recovery Fund, a move that the Music Venues Trust called “bizarrely detached from reality”.
“It is certainly completely inadequate to deal with the scale of the problem,” a statement said. “We note that grassroots music venues, singled out by the government for specific restrictions since the very start of the crisis, are not even mentioned in today’s statement which once again focuses on ‘theatres, orchestras and museum’ who will be supported ‘through until March 2022’.
“This is despite DCMS having all the evidence they need that losses in the grassroots music venue sector alone will run to £22 million by the end of January, let alone the end of March 2022.”
Additional reporting by Press Association