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Carrie Hope Fletcher and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt in Cinderella (Photo by Tristram Kenton)

Andrew Lloyd Webber thanks audiences for ‘staying with us’ at ‘Cinderella’ opening night

The composer spoke before the show at the Gillian Lynne Theatre about how theatregoers have carried the industry through this tough time.

Suzy Evans
Suzy Evans

Andrew Lloyd Webber can't quite believe his latest show has finally opened. Although Cinderella has taken a winding path to opening night at the Gillian Lynne Theatre on 18 August, full of pandemic-related postponements, the moment finally arrived. 

"I'm still pinching myself, I can't quite believe we're here," Lloyd Webber said from the stage before the opening night performance. "Short of a passing asteroid hitting us, I think it might be possible that we're going to just possibly have a show tonight."

Over the past 18 months, Lloyd Webber has been a vocal advocate for the theatre industry around the world, calling for government support, championing vaccines, and calling out regulations that affect those who work in the industry. When Cinderella was scheduled to open on 19 July, the colloquially recognised "Freedom Day," and had to shut due to Covid-19 exposure, Lloyd Webber used his platform to decry the UK government's response to the pandemic. 

However, on Wednesday night, he extended his gratitude to the full house, the first full capacity in the show's run. 

"I want to say is a big thank you to all of you," he said. "Audiences all over the country have been frankly messed around and we've had to rebook people into other performances, move them— "lift and shift" they call it. ...Finally those of you who've stayed with us, whose patience has not completely worn thin, you're all here tonight."

At curtain call, Lloyd Webber took a bow with director Laurence Connor and book writer Emerald Fennell took a bow with the cast, and Lloyd Webber bowed with the show's stars Carrie Hope Fletcher and Ivano Turco. Read London Theatre's four-star review of the show here.  

"I've seen so many of my friends and colleagues from the theatre from up and down the country just before I came onstage, all of us would like to say thank you to the audiences all around the country who stayed with us and they've left their tickets with us," Lloyd Webber said. "Frankly what audiences have done up and down the country is made all the difference to all of us in theatre to be able to keep going."

Cinderella is playing at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. Book Cinderella tickets on London Theatre.

Photo credit: Carrie Hope Fletcher and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt in Cinderella (Photo by Tristram Kenton)

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