2ND UPDATE, FRIDAY AM: Following the ceiling collapse at London’s Apollo Theatre on Thursday evening, the Society of London Theatre released a statement on Friday morning. The cause of the incident at the Nimax Theatres-owned venue, which the BBC says injured 76 people, seven of them seriously, is still being investigated. One avenue to be pursued in the investigation, the BBC says, will be what effect a Thursday evening thunder- and lightning-storm may have had on the 100-year-old building. Performances of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, which is currently running at the Apollo, have been cancelled for Friday and Saturday. Here’s the full statement from the Society of London Theatre:
On behalf of London’s theatre industry, our thoughts and sympathies go out to everyone who was injured and affected by last night’s incident at the Apollo Theatre.
We would like to praise the emergency services for their calm and rapid response and all the theatre staff on Shaftesbury Avenue for their professional and compassionate handling of the situation.
The exact cause of the incident is still being investigated and the theatre owners, Nimax, are working closely with the relevant authorities to establish exactly what happened.
Our theatres entertain over 32,000 people in central London every night and all theatres take the safety of their audience, performers and staff very seriously. Every theatre undergoes rigorous safety checks and inspections by independent experts, and incidents like last night are extremely rare.
At a meeting today all the major theatre owners have confirmed that their safety inspections and certificates are up to date, and will co-operate fully with the authorities to reassure the public that their theatres are safe. All other London theatres remain open for business today and in the coming weeks.
Performances of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time have been cancelled on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st December. Customers should contact their point of purchase to arrange exchanges or refunds. The National Theatre and Apollo Theatre will advertise details regarding the future status of performances once this is known.
In order to help audiences, ticket holders can come to the Industry-run ticket booth TKTS in the clock tower at Leicester Square this weekend, and can choose another show for free on presentation of their ticket for tonight or Saturdays’ performances of The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time.
1ST UPDATE, THURSDAY, 1:30 PM PT: British fire department authorities are now saying that all of the more than 700 people inside the Apollo Theatre are now out of the venue. Police report that 5 patrons of the evening performance at the theatre on London’s Shaftesbury Avenue were seriously injured.
PREVIOUS, 1:10PM: A portion of the ceiling at the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End fell through today during a performance of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. The incident occurred around 8:15 PM UK time. UK media report that police, fire department and ambulances are at the scene and that patrons of the evening performance of the National Theatre production may still be trapped inside. Sky News is reporting that around 30 people were injured. The Nimax Theatres-owned venue, which first opened in 1901, has 775 seats spread over four levels. The Apollo had a full house tonight, reports say.