Ten minutes into the matinee performance of Woyzeck starring Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor John Boyega, the Old Vic Theater in Central London was evacuated due to a security issue. About 1,000 people poured into the streets on Saturday afternoon while police investigated with bomb-sniffing dogs. Businesses near the Old Vic were also evacuated as police searched through trash bins.
Boyega and the rest of the cast were sent to the Imperial War Museum gardens near the theater while police conducted their searches.
Boyega stars in the play about a lowly, downtrodden soldier who ends up killing his wife. The Old Vic’s Matthew Warchus cast Boyega in the title role.
The entire area was cordoned off before police gave the all clear. The theatre sent a tweet said the production had been cleared by police to resume. Several hours later, Boyega tweeted simply, “Thank you #Woyzek.”
Tensions are running very high right now given the deadly terrorist attack in Manchester earlier this week that killed 22 people and injured more during an Ariana Grande concert. After several arrests were made in connection with that case, British authorities today had lowered the terrorist threat level to “severe” from “critical,” which is the highest one.
The Old Vic and the rest of the area was cordoned off. A Met Police spokeswoman told the UK Independent immediately after the evacuation: “Police were called at 14:38pm on Saturday, May 27, to The Cut, Waterloo, to a report of a security alert at a theatre. The theatre took the decision to evacuate the building. Road closures have been put in place. Specialist officers are on scene.”
Apparently, someone called when they found something suspicious in the building.