Andrew Lloyd Webber Says ‘Costly Mistake’ Comments About ‘Cinderella’ Were Misunderstood

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Andrew Lloyd Webber says he is “devastated” that the media is reporting that he believes his West End production of “Cinderella” was a “costly mistake” and insists that his sentiments have been taken out of context.

The “Phantom of the Opera” and “Cats” composer was booed when a letter he wrote was read at the final performance of “Cinderella” in London on Sunday evening. In it, Lloyd Webber talked about “Cinderella’s” long road to the stage, one that saw the theater impresario doing battle with the U.K. government over health and capacity restrictions that prevented theaters from reopening for over a year. “Cinderella’s” opening was originally scheduled for August 2020, but was delayed several times due to COVID.

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“We kept the government’s feet to the flame and lead the charge to get the West End open again,” Lloyd Webber’s original letter read. “It might have been a costly mistake, but I am proud that we did and proud of everyone who supported me. Cinderella got some of the best reviews of my career. I am immensely proud of it and it’s hugely due to you.”

On social media, Lloyd Webber sought to clarify his remarks. “I am devastated to have been reported to have said that my beloved production of ‘Cinderella’ was a ‘costly mistake,” he wrote. “Nothing could be further from the truth, and I’m very sorry if my words have been misunderstood. I adore this production and I am incredibly, incredibly proud of Cinderella and every one who has been involved in our show.”

Lloyd Webber said the “costly mistake” part of his original letter referred to “trying to open too early, meaning we had to postpone twice.”

Despite scoring some of the best reviews of Lloyd Webber’s career and boasting a book by Oscar-winning “Promising Young Woman” writer Emerald Fennell, “Cinderella” has suffered from declining ticket sales. It was also largely shut out at the Laurence Olivier Awards, which hurt its commercial prospects.

Lloyd Webber said that he was so strident about mounting “Cinderella” because wanted to support the West End and “get everyone back to work after the worst period in our history.”

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