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When Andrew Lloyd Webber was booed by the audience of his musical Cinderella for branding the show a ‘costly mistake’, Georgina Castle could have been forgiven if she had joined the chorus of jeers.

For the 29-year-old actress, who played a wicked stepsister in the West End production, has revealed that her dream of owning a home was shattered by the impresario’s sudden closure of the show.

She told the Daily Mail: ‘When we found out, it was a complete shock. I was booked until May 2023 and, after Covid, that felt good for stability. I was trying my best to buy a flat and had the mortgage all in place.

‘But they [mortgage lender] found out that Cinderella had closed from the news. So they said: ‘We can’t go ahead.’ I felt c**p then, but you’ve got to turn it around. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that something else comes up.’

Miss Castle, the daughter of BBC Wimbledon commentator Andrew Castle, was so determined to fulfil her obligations that she appeared in the show’s final performances despite dislodging two ribs the previous week.

Georgina Castle has revealed that her dream of owning a home was shattered by the sudden closure of the show Cinderella

Georgina Castle has revealed that her dream of owning a home was shattered by the sudden closure of the show Cinderella

Georgina Castle appears alongside Laura Baldwin as a wicked stepsister in Andrew Lloyd Webber's production of Cinderella

Georgina Castle appears alongside Laura Baldwin as a wicked stepsister in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of Cinderella

Georgina Castle (left, in yellow and green dress) joins Laurence Connor, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, Laura Baldwin and Caleb Roberts at the curtain call during the press night of Cinderella on August 18, 2021

Georgina Castle (left, in yellow and green dress) joins Laurence Connor, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, Laura Baldwin and Caleb Roberts at the curtain call during the press night of Cinderella on August 18, 2021

Georgina Castle posted this photograph from the Gillian Lynne Theatre on Sunday as the Cinderella show came to a close

Georgina Castle posted this photograph from the Gillian Lynne Theatre on Sunday as the Cinderella show came to a close

Georgina Castle is pictured in her dressing room for Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London in October last year

Georgina Castle is pictured in her dressing room for Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London in October last year

But she was among the cast of Cinderella who were left wincing at the weekend after Lord Lloyd Webber was booed for branding the musical a ‘costly mistake’.

The show, which was staged at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in Covent Garden and suffered a number of Covid-related setbacks, finished on Sunday night.

Georgina Castle is pictured with her father, BBC Wimbledon commentator Andrew Castle, in London in May 2018

Georgina Castle is pictured with her father, BBC Wimbledon commentator Andrew Castle, in London in May 2018

Lord Lloyd Webber came under fire last month after the show’s cast and crew were gathered for a meeting at which they were told that the show was going to close after racking up ‘unsustainable’ losses. Some claimed they found out the news on social media.

Then on Monday night, he said in a statement that he was ‘devastated’ by reports of him saying the production was a ‘costly mistake’.

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In a statement on Twitter, the theatre boss said: ‘I am devastated to have been reported to have said that my beloved production of Cinderella was a ‘costly mistake’.

‘Nothing could be further from the truth and I am very sorry if my words have been misunderstood. I adore this production and I am incredibly, incredibly proud of Cinderella and everyone who has been involved in our show.

‘We were desperate to support the West End after two years of a devastating pandemic and the mistake we made was trying to open too early, meaning we had to postpone twice.

‘Everything we did was to try and support the West End and get everyone back to work after the worst period in our history.

‘For now, I want to say thank you to everyone involved in Cinderella for all you have done. With love today and always, Andrew Lloyd Webber.’

Director Laurence Connor had read out a letter from Lord Lloyd Webber on Sunday, who was not in attendance for the final performance.

The composer, 74, said he was ‘immensely proud’ of the production, which opened last August, but was met with resounding boos on calling it a ‘costly mistake’.

Georgina Castle with Laura Baldwin in her dressing room before a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella

Georgina Castle with Laura Baldwin in her dressing room before a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella

Andrew Lloyd Webber is pictured onstage during the Platinum Party at the Palace in front of Buckingham Palace on June 4

Andrew Lloyd Webber is pictured onstage during the Platinum Party at the Palace in front of Buckingham Palace on June 4

People queue to go into the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London, to see the last performance of Cinderella on Sunday night

People queue to go into the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London, to see the last performance of Cinderella on Sunday night

Union members demonstrate outside the Gillian Lynne Theatre on May 3 after the announcement that Cinderella will close

Union members demonstrate outside the Gillian Lynne Theatre on May 3 after the announcement that Cinderella will close

‘I keep thinking if only we had opened three months later, we wouldn’t have had to postpone our opening twice because of Covid,’ the letter read.

What did Andrew Lloyd Webber say in his letter and subsequent apology?

ORIGINAL LETTER 

Cinderella director Laurence Connor read out this letter from Andrew Lloyd Webber on Sunday, who was not in attendance for the final performance:

‘I am hugely sorry not to be able to be with you today.

‘But I want to thank everyone, our fabulous cast, crew and musicians, the superb creative team, Laurence, JoAnn, Emerald, David and Bruno to mention just a few, and everyone who works in Really Useful and the Gillie for bringing Belleville brilliantly to life.

‘I once wrote a song with the late great Jim Steinman called If Only.

‘I keep thinking, if only we had opened three months later we wouldn’t have had to postpone our opening twice because of Covid. If only we hadn’t had to close for a month over Christmas and New Year, once again thanks to Covid.

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‘And if only we had had a crumb of help from the Recovery Fund, I promise you we would have been here for a very long while to come.

‘Anyway, my huge thanks to everyone. We kept the government’s feet to the flame and lead the charge to get the West End open again.

‘It might have been a costly mistake, but I am proud that we did and proud of everyone who supported me. Cinderella got some of the best reviews of my career.

‘I am immensely proud of it and it’s hugely due to you.

‘All my love, Andrew.’

APOLOGY STATEMENT 

Andrew Lloyd Webber then issued this statement on Monday after the backlash against his comments:

‘I am devastated to have been reported to have said that my beloved production of Cinderella was a ‘costly mistake’.

‘Nothing could be further from the truth and I am very sorry if my words have been misunderstood.

‘I adore this production and I am incredibly, incredibly proud of Cinderella and everyone who has been involved in our show.

‘We were desperate to support the West End after two years of a devastating pandemic and the mistake we made was trying to open too early, meaning we had to postpone twice.

‘Everything we did was to try and support the West End and get everyone back to work after the worst period in our history.

‘For now, I want to say thank you to everyone involved in Cinderella for all you have done. With love today and always, Andrew Lloyd Webber.’

‘If only we hadn’t had to close for a month over Christmas and New Year once again thanks to Covid. And if only we had had help from the recovery fund, I promise you we would have been here for a very long time to come.’

He continued: ‘My huge thanks to everyone we kept the Government’s feet to the flames and led the charge to the west end opening again.

‘It might have been a costly mistake but I am proud of what we did and will forever be grateful to everyone who supported me. Cinderella got some of the best reviews of my career and I am immensely proud of it. All my love.’

Cinderella, played by Carrie Hope Fletcher, opened in June with an audience capacity of 50 per cent.

The following month the theatre maestro was forced to close hours before the world premiere after a member of the cast tested positive for Covid.

Performances were then suspended from late December to early February as Omicron decimated the West End.

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‘When we had to cancel Cinderella in July we lost overnight £700,000, and the fact of the matter is, whatever the government thinks, if this all happened again certainly we would go under,’ he told The Stage.

‘Government’s simply didn’t listen. We would not be able to continue – the theatres would have to go. I have already had to sell one of our theatres, the Other Palace.’

Lord Lloyd Webber previously revealed he lost more than £1 million a month while his theatres were closed and had to remortgage a home to help cover the costs.

Miss Fletcher, 29, said it was an ‘honour and a privilege’ to star in the production, and told fans: ‘It’s been a ball.’

‘The last three years on this project have had many highs and lows but overall I’m glad to have stood in Cinderella’s glass slippers (and fun fact…her Kurt Giegers…NOT Doc Martens),’ she wrote on Instagram.

‘Everyone in the Gillian Lynne from cast to crew to lighting to sound to wardrobe to dressers to wigs to stage management to front of house…coming to work has been an honour and a privilege.

‘Thank you to everyone who has supported this show and this company from beginning to end. It had meant the world to each and every one of us. Bye, Cinders. It’s been a ball.’

Written by Emerald Fennell and starring Miss Fletcher, Cinderella was described as a ‘complete reinvention’ of the classic fairytale.

In a statement Lord Lloyd Webber said a new production of Cinderella would open on Broadway next year. 

It came months after he accused young cast members of not recognising that they work in the ‘service industry’.

‘The younger cast don’t really realise all the time [that] we are a service industry, and nobody has a right to be on the stage,’ he told Samira Ahmed on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row.

‘I don’t have a right to have my musicals in the theatre. What we have to do is try to give the best performances possible. All I was saying is, that is what we have to do and the cast we’ve got at Cinderella are really wonderful and are well capable of doing that. But this has been wildly exaggerated.’

A Really Useful Group spokesman said: ‘The reference to a ‘costly mistake’ was never – and would never be – about the production. It related to the early opening of the show and the myriad challenges faced because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which the full text makes clear.

‘As Andrew said in the letter, he is immensely proud of the show and that is hugely due to everyone involved.’

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