John Whaite gutted after West End debut is cancelled

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John Whaite will no longer be playing Prince Charming on the West End credit:Bang Showbiz
John Whaite will no longer be playing Prince Charming on the West End credit:Bang Showbiz

John Whaite is heartbroken after his West End debut was cancelled.

The 'Strictly Come Dancing' runner-up - who lost out to Rose Ayling-Ellis on last year's series of the BBC One Latin and ballroom show - has been left devastated after it was announced that Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Cinderella' musical will bow out with its final performance on June 12, the month before the 'Great British Bake Off' winner was due to begin his stint as Prince Charming.

John, 32, reacted to the news on his Instagram Story: "This is heartbreaking news for me because I was due to take the role of Prince Charming in July.

"But more so for the current cast, band and production who have battled through Covid to bring a brilliant new show to the stage.

"My heart goes out to each and every one of them.

"I was lucky enough to watch 'Cinderella' in December 2021 and it was one of the most wonderful musicals I’ve seen in a long time."

The show began it's run at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in August last year, after being delayed by the pandemic.

The planned closure comes after the 74-year-old musical theatre icon was forced to deny claims he berated his young cast members over poor reviews for his latest musical, but he urged them to realise they work in the "service industry".

Lloyd Webber told BBC Radio 4 in November: "What I was saying to everybody is... the younger cast don't really realise all the time that we are actually a service industry and nobody has a right to be on the stage.

"I don't have a right to have my musicals in the theatre. What we have to do is try to give the best performances possible.

"All I was saying is that that's what we have to do and the cast we've got at Cinderella are a really, really wonderful cast who are well capable of doing that. But this has been wildly exaggerated."

He insisted his comments had "nothing to do with" a review by the New York Times newspaper's theatre critic Johnny Oleksinski.

The production is based on a book by 'The Crown' star Emerald Fennell and loosely on the classic Disney fairy tale.

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