Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer of the new West End (and Broadway-aimed) musical Cinderella, released a statement via Twitter in response to the recent controversy over a letter he penned to be read at the show's final performance.
Cast and audience members reportedly reacted audibly when Lloyd Webber's statement used the descriptor "costly mistake" to describe the short-lived production, but the Phantom of the Opera composer says his meaning was misunderstood.
The response reads, "I am devastated to have been reported to have said that my beloved production of Cinderella was a 'costly mistake.' Nothing could be further from the truth, and I am very sorry if my words have been misunderstood. I adore this production and I am incredibly, incredibly proud of Cinderella and everyone who has been involved in our show. We were desperate to support the West End after 2 years of a devastating pandemic and the mistake we made was trying to open too early, meaning we had to postpone twice. Everything we did was to try and support the West End and get everyone back to work after the worst period in our history. For now, I want to say thank you to everyone involved in Cinderella for all you have done. With love today and always, Andrew Lloyd Webber."
Webber's original statement that drew controversy after being read aloud from the stage of the Gillian Lynne Theatre read in part, "My huge thanks to everyone. We kept the government’s feet to the flames, and led the charge to the West End opening again. It might have been a costly mistake, but I am proud of what we did, and will forever be grateful to everyone who supported me.”
Lloyd Webber's Cinderella is a contemporary take on the classic fairy tale with a book by Oscar-winning screenwriter Fennell, music by Lloyd Webber, and lyrics by David Zippel. The production began previews June 25, 2021 at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, officially opened August 18, 2021, and finished its run June 12.