“Cinderella” to be closed at West End

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“The original story … by Fennell [has] heart and a torrent of barbed wit, exposing the faulty morals in traditional fairy tales. … Zippel’s crystalline lyrics are … cheekily satirical yet wistful and uplifting. … Lloyd-Webber’s richly enjoyable [numbers] range from grand waltzes, courtly processionals and marches to deftly pastiched and deeply felt romanticism, power-balladry, a splash of chanson and rollicking guitar riffs. Bewitching melodies abound: some refrains are practically iridescent..” – Chris Wiegand


 This was a 5 star review of Mr. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s critically acclaimed play, ‘Cinderella’. The plot of the musical is loosely based on the classic story of the same name, but the gender relationships are casted again, and a key thematic element concerns beauty shaming. Cinderella alters her appearance in order to win love, but she soon realises that it is better to be true to oneself.


The curtain will fall on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new West End musical Cinderella just under a year after it premiered, with the final performance scheduled for June 12th. The composer said in a statement released on Sunday by Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group that “mounting a new show in the midst of Covid” had been an “unbelievable challenge,” and that a new Cinderella production would open on Broadway in 2023.


There was surprise at how quickly news of the show’s closure reached current and future Cinderella company members over the bank holiday weekend. Summer Strallen, who was supposed to join the cast, said she found out about it after reading a news story online and receiving an email from her agent. Strallen said on Instagram Live that she was scheduled to begin rehearsals in June and that she had gone for a wig fitting three days earlier for her role as the Queen, which she expected to play for a year. Daisy Twells stated that she was scheduled to begin rehearsals next month and would be making her West End debut in the Cinderella ensemble. Before receiving the “devastating” news, she had “planned out the next year financially and logistically.” “This was a dream come true for me, and it was all taken away in seconds yesterday,” she tweeted on Monday. She stated that she “found out about the show’s closure through a press release.” Cinderella actress Carrie Hope Fletcher tweeted on Sunday night, “I don’t think I have the words… “Sending love to everyone affected by today’s news and how it was delivered.” John Whaite, the Great British Bake Off winner and Strictly Come Dancing finalist, revealed on social media that he was set to join the cast of Cinderella in July as Prince Charming. He stated that his “heart went out” to those involved with the show. Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, who plays Cinderella’s scheming, sharp-tongued stepmother and earned the show its only Olivier nomination, tweeted that the role “has been a thrill and an experience I needed… I’ll be your woman in your rehearsal room beginning Monday, June 13th.” 


The Really Useful Group provided no specific reasons for the show’s closure, but Cinderella suffered significant losses during its run, particularly when performances were halted from late December to early February to avoid disruption and “protect the quality of the show,” while the Omicron variant spread rapidly across the UK. “Everyone involved in Cinderella was contacted by phone, email, or in person (some through agents) before the news went live in the evening,” a spokesperson for the Really Useful Group said on Monday. Every effort was made to ensure that people were notified before it went live, while also attempting to control how quickly it spread on social media once people were notified.” Equity’s general secretary, Paul Fleming, called the manner in which some people learned of the closure “a callous attack on the dignity of the Cinderella company.”


Because of the pandemic, the show’s debut at the Gillian Lynne theatre in the West End was delayed by a year. Due to government restrictions, Cinderella played at a reduced capacity during its previews, resulting in a weekly loss of £100,000. Its official premiere night was cancelled at the last minute last July due to a Covid case in the cast. When the show finally opened in August, it received rave reviews, but its online booking system shows that many seats are still available for the remaining performances. Lloyd Webber said in a statement, “I am incredibly proud of Cinderella.” Not only did it receive some of the best reviews of my career, but we also led the charge to reopen the West End, ensuring that theatre and live entertainment would continue to thrive.”

Written by: Relaks Radio

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