With its story and book by the Oscar-winning screenwriter Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”), the $8.2 million musical had been set to star Carrie Hope Fletcher in the title role, and had been in previews at half capacity at the Gillian Lynne Theater for about a month.
Lloyd Webber, 73, has been pressuring the government for more than a year to allow theaters to open at full capacity. In an interview with The New York Times earlier this month, he said protocols that required a show to cancel performances because one member of the cast came into contact with someone who tested positive could be the death knell for a musical like “Cinderella.”
“The trouble is, we wouldn’t be able to carry on,” he said. “We can’t carry on hemorrhaging money each week, because at 50 percent we do. It’s almost unthinkable, but there comes a time when you just have to hand in the towel.”
A surge of coronavirus cases in Britain, driven by the Delta variant, has also been shuttering London’s other West End theaters after members of productions like “Hairspray” at the London Coliseum and “Romeo and Juliet” at Shakespeare’s Globe tested positive earlier this month. And London’s Riverside Studios announced that “The Browning Version,” which had been set to open next month starring Kenneth Branagh, has been canceled.
Despite a rise in cases that has driven England’s daily average to 39,950 — approximately double the level just two weeks ago — virtually all social distancing and mask requirements were removed on Monday, prompting widespread “Freedom Day” celebrations.