Andrew Lloyd Webber's son is "critically ill" with gastric cancer.
The 74-year-old theatre guru is "praying" his eldest son Nicholas - who he has with first wife Sarah Hugill - "turns a corner" in his battle with the disease but in the meantime, he will be staying with his family by the 43-year-old composer's bedside, meaning he will miss the Broadway opening of his latest production 'Bad Cinderella' on Thursday (23.03.23).
Andrew announced in a statement: “I am absolutely devastated to say that my eldest son Nick is critically ill. As my friends and family know, he has been fighting gastric cancer for the last 18 months and Nick is now hospitalised.
“I therefore have not been able to attend the recent previews of 'Bad Cinderella' and as things stand, I will not be able to cheer on its wonderful cast, crew and orchestra on Opening Night this Thursday.
“We are all praying that Nick will turn the corner. He is bravely fighting with his indomitable humour, but at the moment my place is with him and the family.”
Nicholas is a successful composer and producer in his own right, having been nominated for Grammy Awards. He is best known for scoring the drama series 'Love, Lies and Records' and 2021 movie 'The Last Bus', and he co-produced and mixed the original 2021 London cast album for 'Cinderella', the previous title for 'Bad Cinderella'.
Andrew previously hit back at claims he had berated young 'Cinderella' cast members over poor reviews of the production when it opened in London, insisting he was just stressing the fact no one has a "right to be on the stage".
He said: "What I was saying to everybody is... the younger cast don't really realise all the time that we are actually a service industry and nobody has a right to be on the stage.
"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 that's what we have to do and the cast we've got at Cinderella are a really, really wonderful cast who are well capable of doing that. But this has been wildly exaggerated."