Andrew Lloyd Webber sets new date for Cinderella premiere

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical Cinderella will have a world premiere on August 25 after its gala opening was cancelled earlier this week.

Previews for the show began on June 25 and the musical was due to have a star-studded opening night on Tuesday, but the show was forced to close due to Covid-19 isolation protocols.

Performances will now resume on August 18 before opening night the following week.

Lord Lloyd-Webber previously accused the Government of “idiocy” after the “blunt instrument” of its self-isolation rules resulted in the cancellation of the long-awaited opening.

The theatre impresario said the current system is “completely, completely untenable” and his industry has been left “on its knees”.

Two shows were cancelled last weekend after a member of the cast tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday and it was later announced the show would not be returning to the stage on Monday.

While the rest of the production tested negative, Lord Lloyd-Webber said “‘freedom day’ has turned into ‘closure day'” as a result of the isolation rules.

Speaking at the Gillian Lynne Theatre on Monday, the composer said: “We cannot function with this current system.”

He added: “We can’t isolate every time somebody may or may not have it. It just simply doesn’t work.

“I say this from the heart, I am seeing the profession I have loved, I’m seeing musical theatre I think I had a small part in pioneering in this country at a time when frankly the British were not considered to be people who could do musicals.

“And I am just saying it with passion – please, please will this Government for once listen to us.

“Listen. We do know what we’re doing, we do. Just listen and knock all these platitudes and endless, endless blunt instruments that don’t apply across the board.”

The show had opened with an audience capacity of 50% after the impresario rejected Boris Johnson’s offer for the show to be included in the live events pilot scheme.

Lord Lloyd-Webber previously said proceeds from Monday’s show would be donated to St John Ambulance and the NHS.

Written by The Crown star Emerald Fennell and starring Carrie Hope Fletcher, Cinderella is described as a “complete reinvention” of the classic fairytale, and is based on an original idea by Fennell.

Lord Lloyd-Webber is among figures from the theatre and music sectors, including musician Peter Gabriel, theatre producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh and music industry trade body Live, who launched legal action to force the Government to hand over the results from its coronavirus pilot events scheme.