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Andrew Lloyd Webber has announced that he is indefinitely closing his West End musical Cinderella, just a day before its official opening, because of COVID-19.
The West End impresario posted an angry statement on Twitter in which he blamed the “impossible conditions created by the blunt instrument that is the Government’s isolation guidance.”
According to Lloyd Webber, performances — which began in June — stopped over the weekend after an actor (who had a cameo role) tested positive for COVID-19. Two shows were canceled as a precaution while further tests were carried out, which were negative. Those identified as being a close contact of the positive case were given additional tests, which were also negative, as were additional tests conducted Monday morning on those set to perform today.
“Despite this, the impossible conditions created by the blunt instrument that is the Government’s isolation guidance, mean that we cannot continue,” he wrote. “We have been forced into a devastation decision which will affect the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of people and disappoint the thousands who have booked to see the show.”
Lloyd Webber made the announcement on July 19, the so-called Freedom Day when Boris Johnson and the U.K government removed all lockdown restrictions in England, despite new cases from the delta COVID-19 variant spiraling across the country.
Written by the newly Oscar-minted Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), Cinderella was, according to Lloyd Webber, “ready to go.”
“Freedom Day has turned into closure day,” he concluded.
A statement from Andrew Lloyd Webber pic.twitter.com/a47FN1anG3
— Andrew Lloyd Webber (@OfficialALW) July 19, 2021
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