Theatre News

Andrew Lloyd Webber states Cinderella still planned for April, considers reduced capacity for theatre

The composer has said he is exploring options to get the show into the West End

Andrew Lloyd Webber at the opening of School of Rock
Andrew Lloyd Webber at the opening of School of Rock
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Theatre owner and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has revealed hopes to open Cinderella at the end of April as planned, even if it means altering the capacity of his venue.

In an interview with The Stage, Lloyd Webber said that, with the ongoing roll-out of the vaccine and better hospital treatment, an April opening is feasible.

Lloyd Webber said that, if the roll-out is ratcheted up quickly, "things will get better very quickly", and that, at worse, he might have to open a few weeks later than initially planned, even factoring in the rise of the new variant.

The Phantom composer also said that he is exploring whether or not he is able to open with a slightly reduced capacity (with the figure of 75 per cent floated), similar to venues operating under tier restrictions back in October (at the time, there was no cap on seating as long as audiences were sat at a social distance, as was the case in December).

There is a precedent for the move – in Australia venues are able to open with a slightly restricted capacity (the Disney production of Frozen has it set at 85 per cent).

Last month Lloyd Webber revealed he would be more than prepared to open his theatres for use as vaccination centres if so asked. He also says sanitation measures – such as hand sanitisation – will likely exist for a long time, even to mitigate against other infections like the common cold.

Cinderella is set to star Carrie Hope Fletcher in the titular role alongside Victoria Hamilton-Barritt as the Stepmother and Ivano Turco as Sebastian. Further casting is to be announced.

The brand new show has music by Lloyd Webber, lyrics by David Zippel and a book by Emerald Fennell – and is scheduled to open at the Gillian Lynne Theatre on 30 April. Choreography is by JoAnn Hunter, design by Gabriela Tylesova, sound design by Gareth Owen and lighting by Bruno Poet. The rest of the creative team are to be revealed.

The show is set to release a cast album ahead of its West End premiere – it can be pre-ordered now.

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