The Apollo Theatre collapse: what you need to know

Posted at 5:00 pm, December 20, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment
The Curios Incident

As you’ve probably heard, a section of the roof collapsed at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue last night during a performance of the National Theatre’s hit show ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’.

As the dust literally settles, our thoughts are with those who were seriously injured, and we can only be thankful that none of their injuries are life-threatening.

Why did it happen? A lot of fingers have been pointed at the age of the building – like many West End theatres, the Grade II listed Apollo is over a century old. The fact is, though, that we won’t know what happened until the investigation is concluded – West End theatres are required to have their roofs safety checked every three years and that went for the Apollo. There has been some speculation that lightning and intense rainfall could have been contributing factors, but we don’t know, and there is no reason to suggest that other West End theatres are unsafe.

We shouldn’t be complacent – just a few months ago a performance at the similarly aged Aldywch Theatre had to be abandoned due to some fragments of plaster falling on the stage – but what happened at the Apollo last night was unprecedented, and if the inquiry into it calls for tougher safety rules then they’ll surely be taken on West End-wide.

Finally, what does this mean for people hoping to see ‘The Curious Incident…’? The bottom line is that it’s cancelled up to and including January 4. Refunds are available at point of purchase, or if you’d like to see another show instead you can trade your unused tickets for a different play or musical at the TKTS booth in Leicester Square.

There’s no guarantee at this stage that performances of ‘The Curious Incident…’ will resume after Jan 4, but our thoughts go out to everybody hurt last night, and we are sure the Apollo will only be re-opened when it is safe to do so.

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