Video has emerged of Andrew Lloyd Webber being booed as a letter was read on his behalf during Cinderella’s final performance.
The theater impresario, 74, did not attend the closing performance at the Gillian Lynne Theater in London’s West End on Sunday.
Instead, director Laurence Connor appeared on stage alongside the cast to deliver a message from the composer about his untimely end – and was roundly booed.
After backlash over the content of the letter, particularly when it referred to a “costly mistake”, Lloyd Webber said he was “devastated” by a perceived misinterpretation.
It comes after he came under fire last month when the show’s cast and crew gathered for a meeting where they were told the show was going to end after racking up losses.” unsustainable”.
Now he has released a statement saying: “I am devastated to have said my beloved production of Cinderella was a ‘costly mistake’.
“Nothing could be further from the truth, and I am truly sorry if my words were misunderstood.
“I love this production and I’m incredibly, incredibly proud of Cinderella and everyone who has been on our show.
“We were desperate to support the West End after 2 years of a devastating pandemic and the mistake we made was trying to open too early which meant we had to postpone twice.
“All we did was try to support the West End and get everyone back to work after the worst time in our history.
“For now, I want to thank everyone involved in Cinderella for all you have done. With love today and always, Andrew Lloyd Webber.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber said he was “devastated” by the misinterpretation of his “expensive mistake” in a letter read during Cinderella’s final performance.
The statement followed a comment from a spokeswoman for his company The Really Useful Group, who also said the reference did not refer to the production itself.
She said: “The reference to a ‘costly mistake’ has never been and never will be production related.”
“This was related to the show opening early and the myriad challenges faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which the full text makes clear.
“As Andrew said in the letter, he is immensely proud of the show and that’s in large part due to everyone involved.”
Last month, Lloyd Webber announced the closure of Cinderella, less than a year after its premiere.
In the letter, read to the public at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, he said: ‘I am extremely sorry that I cannot be with you today.
‘But I want to thank everyone, our fabulous cast, crew and musicians, the superb creative team, Laurence, JoAnn, Emerald, David and Bruno to name but a few, and everyone who works in Really Useful and the Gillie for bringing Belleville brilliantly. live.
‘I once wrote a song with the late Jim Steinman called If Only.
“I keep thinking that if only we had opened three months later, we wouldn’t have had to postpone our opening twice because of Covid.
‘If only we hadn’t had to close for a month over Christmas and New Year, again thanks to Covid.
The theater impresario, 74, did not attend the closing performance at the Gillian Lynne Theater in London’s West End on Sunday. Pictured: (L to R) cast members Carrie Hope Fletcher, Lloyd Webber and Ivano Turco bow to the curtain call
“And if only we had had a crumb of help from the Recovery Fund, I promise you we would have been here a very long time.
‘Anyway, a big thank you to everyone. We kept the Government’s feet on the flame and led the charge to reopen the West End.
“It may have been a costly mistake, but I’m proud we did it and proud of everyone who supported me. Cinderella received some of the best reviews of my career.
“I’m immensely proud of it and a big part of it is thanks to you. All my love, Andrew.
The show premiered in August last year, having been scheduled the previous month but delayed due to Covid isolation protocols.
Instead, director Laurence Connor appeared on stage alongside the cast to deliver a message from the composer about the premature end of production.
Cinderella, played by Carrie Hope Fletcher, opened in June with an audience capacity of 50%.
The following month, the theater maestro was forced to close hours before the world premiere after a cast member tested positive for Covid.
Performances were then suspended from late December to early February as Omicron decimated the West End.
‘When we had to cancel Cinderella in July we lost £700,000 overnight, and the fact is, whatever the government thinks, if this all happened again we would definitely sink,’ he said at TheStage.
“The government just didn’t listen. We couldn’t go on – the halls would have to go. I have already had to sell one of our theatres, the Other Palace.
Lord Lloyd-Webber previously revealed he lost more than £1million a month while his cinemas were closed and had to re-mortgage a house to help defray the costs.
Miss Fletcher, 29, said it was an ‘honor and a privilege’ to star in the production and told fans: ‘It’s been a ball.
Cinderella opened last August with 50% capacity after a series of delays due to Covid. In December, performances were halted due to ‘Covid-related absences’
“The last three years of this project have had a lot of ups and downs, but overall I’m glad I was in Cinderella’s glass slippers (and fun fact…its Kurt Giegers…NOT Doc Martens) “, she wrote on Instagram.
“Everyone in Gillian Lynne, from the cast, to the technical team, to lighting, sound, wardrobe, dressers, wigs, stage management, front…coming to work has been an honor and a privilege.
“Thank you to everyone who supported this show and this business from start to finish. It meant the world to all of us. Goodbye, Cinders. It’s been a ball.
Written by Emerald Fennell and starring Miss Fletcher, Cinderella is described as a “complete reimagining” of the classic fairy tale.
In a statement, Lord Lloyd Webber said a new production of Cinderella will open on Broadway next year.
It came months after he accused the young cast members of not acknowledging that they worked in “the service industry“.
‘Young actors don’t really realize all the time [that] we are a service industry and no one is allowed to be on stage,’ he told Samira Ahmed on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row.
“I’m not allowed 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’s what we have to do and the actors we have in Cinderella are really wonderful and are totally capable of doing that.” But this has been wildly exaggerated.