Andrew Lloyd Webber has begun rehearsing his brand new musical Cinderella, stating he hopes the move will give other producers “confidence to follow suit by getting major musicals back open”.
The composer said he was “buoyed by the government’s roadmap” announced last week, which outlined 17 May 2021 as the earliest date theatres could begin to reopen with social distancing. It is hoped all restrictions will be lifted by 21 June.
He has now begun rehearsing Cinderella, which is planned for London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre this summer, and preparations had just been finalised for the return of The Phantom of the Opera and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat later this year.
Lloyd Webber said: “I am buoyed by the government’s roadmap announcement last week and am absolutely prepared to do my part to get theatre open again this summer. It is thrilling to see the big music festivals like Reading and Leeds on sale and that they have sold out in record time.
“I want to lead the way and give others confidence to follow suit by getting major musicals back open – they are the powerhouse of the West End – and have been out of action for almost a year now.”
He added: “So I have put the wheels in motion for a summer reopening. We start rehearsals for my new musical Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre today [Monday]. The script is by multiple Golden Globe-nominated Emerald Fennell and isn’t like any Cinderella you will have seen. We have just finalised the new cast for The Phantom of the Opera, and Tim Rice and my first ever musical Joseph will return to The London Palladium this July.
“I cannot wait to welcome back audiences to live theatre and bring life, employment and joy back to our capital city after a harrowing past year.”
Last week, Nimax Theatres’ chief executive Nica Burns told The Stage she expected to reopen all six of her West End theatres from 17 May.