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ALW Cinderella Getty.jpg

Andrew Lloyd Webber Just Screwed Over a Hell of a Lot of People

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | May 2, 2022 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | May 2, 2022 |

ALW Cinderella Getty.jpg

Andrew Lloyd Webber positioned himself as the grand hero of the theater world during the peak of the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK. He claimed that his newest West End musical Cinderella would open even if he had to risk arrest to get full theater capacity for his show. The musical faced a barrage of problems, including having to cancel its opening night due to a case of COVID, but it eventually premiered to solid reviews. It seemed to be doing well, or at least well enough for the production to be preparing for a major cast change. But now it’s closing.

Lloyd Webber’s company, the Really Useful Group, released a statement announcing the news, setting the closure date for June 12th. It’s sad news, but shows close all the time. Most musicals don’t make their investments back. What makes this case different is that it seems like a hell of a lot of people involved with the show found out about its closure the same way that the public did. Yikes.

Carrie Hope Fletcher, the star of the production, hinted at the problems on Twitter.

Then she started liking a lot of much shadier comments from cast, crew, and industry fellows alike. Is finding out via Twitter the worst way possible to discover you’re out of a job? It’s cruel, if nothing else.

Summer Strallen, who was set to take over the role of the Queen, posted a video on Instagram of her reaction to being ‘sacked via social media.’ She revealed that her agent had not been informed about the news aside from an email sent out on the weekend when nobody is actually at work.

As Baz Bamigboye, a major British theater columnist, also noted, the show’s closure was being finalized several days ago, so why not let the cast and crew know about it then? You don’t decide to close a massive and expensive musical on a whim.

This is, to put it kindly, a super sh*tty way to treat your staff. Lloyd Webber says he’s still planning on taking Cinderella to Broadway, so I hope the actors’ unions over there are prepared for all manner of jackassery. This is a brutal industry and Lloyd Webber, one of the few people in it to have made hundreds of millions of pounds, has made it all the nastier. Most people on the West End are working actors, crew members, and so on, people living month to month. It’s not a secure field and the consistent scrapping of workers’ rights sees a lot of people suffer. If anyone could have afforded to take a hit for the wider cause, it’s the man who made his fortune from Cats. All that AND he has the audacity to brag about taking the show to New York? Oh, sorry I’ve left hundreds of people out of a job, including people who JUST signed year-long contracts, but screw you, I’ve got mine? Drop a chandelier on this b*tch.

Header Image Source: David M. Benett via Getty Images