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Boris Johnson: We're in talks with Andrew Lloyd Webber to help opening Cinderella

The show may open as a pilot event

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Emerald Fennell

Boris Johnson has revealed he is having "talks" with Andrew Lloyd Webber about the possibility of helping him open Cinderella, possibly within the next four weeks.

Speaking to the nation, Johnson revealed that he had been conversing with the Cats composer following Lloyd Webber's comments about the impact of a delay to the roadmap to his productions and the wider theatre ecosystem. The Prime Minister has today pushed back the next roadmap reopening date from 21 June to 19 July.

Johnson added: "We'll do whatever we can to make it work – there are some pilot events we hope to have go ahead within the next four weeks." Further details are to be revealed – WhatsOnStage has reached out to the Cinderella team for comment.

Cinderella was set to open in previews later this month at capacity – that date being before the freshly revealed 19 July date when step four in the government roadmap is set to be reached.

Lloyd Webber, Emerald Fennell and David Zippel's new musical is currently set to open with a cast led by Carrie Hope Fletcher. Cinderella is directed by Laurence Connor, with choreography by JoAnn M Hunter, design by Gabriela Tylesova, sound design by Gareth Owen and lighting by Bruno Poet.

Other industry figures have stated that the government's delay to the roadmap, with Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire of Trafalgar Entertainment saying: "Today's announcement is a catastrophe for the theatre, music and live- entertainment sector. The only guaranteed outcome is the negative impact on jobs, local economies and the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities."

UPDATE - Andrew Lloyd Webber has responded to the news: "My goal is to fight for the full and safe reopening of theatre and live music venues up & down the country. I was pleased and surprised to hear the PM mention Cinderella this evening, but I can't comment further on the proposed pilot until I know more about the scheme."

The show's star Fletcher added on social: "All theatres, productions and producers, big time and independent, up and down the country need to be given the same opportunities and the same chance to open again. All art matters. It can't be one rule for one and one rule for another."