The cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella musical have reacted to the sudden news of the show’s closing.
It was announced on Sunday that the production, which opened at London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre in August 2021, will play its final performance on 12 June.
Many of those currently involved in the show, and those who were set to join the company at the upcoming cast change, have hit out after learning of the news from social media.
In a statement, the production said “every effort was made to ensure people were notified” before the news was made public.
Deadline reports that the current cast were told of the closure in person before Sunday’s performance while a message was then sent out to the show’s actors and crew.
But with it being the Sunday of a Bank Holiday weekend, many only found out from news articles shared online.
Carrie Hope Fletcher, who currently stars in the title role, wrote on Twitter: “I don’t think I have the words. And if I did I would probably be advised not to say them. Sending love to all impacted by todays news and by how that news was delivered.”
She later added on Instagram: “I wasn’t in the show today and I was only informed via other cast members and a member of the music team. I had no official call from the company to let me know before it was posted online.”
Many involved in the production said they had turned down other job offers and spent money on housing and other expenses to take up their roles.
In a lengthy video on Instagram, Summer Strallen revealed she was due to join the cast in the role of The Queen and only discovered the show was closing after a text from a friend.
“A year’s contract that I had booked for two months, I’ve had to turn down another job because of it… I basically got fired by social media which is just not okay,” she told her followers.
Luke Latchman, set to make his West End debut in the new cast, tweeted: “Imagine – planning in your head 100 times what you’re going to say when it’s announced. Telling your friends and family you have something coming and can’t wait to tell them about it. Knowing that career changing west end lead was coming. Then you see a tweet and it’s all gone.”
Daisy Twells, also due to her West End debut in the upcoming company, wrote online: “This was a dream come true for me and yesterday it was all taken away in seconds, I and many others In the current and upcoming cast found out through a press release that the show is closing and as you can probably imagine this is the most devastating thing to hear after accepted the contract and having the next year all planned out financially and logistically!
“This is something I have wanted and have worked so hard to achieve not only over the last 5 years since graduating but since I was a little girl.”
Another of those set to join the show was recent Strictly Come Dancing contestant John Whaite.
He wrote on Instagram: “This is heartbreaking news for me because I was due to take the role of Prince Charming in July, but more so for the current cast, band and production who have battled through Covid to bring a brilliant new show to the stage. My heart goes out to each and every one of them.”
Whaite added: “I was so excited to join the cast, and it was a lifelong dream come true, but sadly it isn’t to be right now. Who knows what the future will hold – I won’t lose hope.”
Paul Fleming, the general secretary of trade union Equity, said: “For @EquityUK members to find out about closure by press release is unacceptable. I’ve written to ALW to express our anger at this callous attack on the dignity of the Cinderella company.
“We’re in touch with the Deps & will be looking at how to respond. They must be compensated.”
In a statement, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theatre company said: “Everyone involved in Cinderella was contacted by call, email or in person (some through agents) before the news went live in the evening.
“Every effort was made to ensure people were notified before it went live, while trying to manage how quickly it would move on social media once people were informed.”
While it may be the end of Cinderella’s West End run the show is set to open on Broadway in 2023 with plans for a March opening.
In a statement, Lloyd Webber said: “Thank you very much to everyone involved, particularly our UK audiences who have loved and supported the show. See you next March on Broadway.”