CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Five hurt as part of theatre ceiling falls on audience

08 November, 2019 — By Samantha Booth

The hole in the ceiling of the Piccadilly Theatre. Photo: Kieran Dunn

FIVE people were injured when part of the ceiling at a West End theatre collapsed this week.

More than 1,000 people were evacuated when plasterboard fell onto the audience watching a performance of the Arthur Miller play Death of a Salesman at the Piccadilly Theatre in Denman Street.

Ambassador Theatre Group said in a statement on Wednesday night: “We are sorry to confirm that at 8pm this evening during a performance at the Piccadilly Theatre a section of the plasterboard fell from the rear upper circle.

“The performance was immediately stopped and the theatre safely evacuated.

“Five members of the audience sustained minor injuries and were taken to local hospitals.”

Last night’s (Thursday) performance was cancelled and ATG said they were “ascertaining the extent of the situation”.

In a video posted on social media, American actor Wendell Pierce, who plays Willy Loman in the show which opened on Monday, is shown speaking outside the venue.

He said: “I ask you all to come back and see our production. We are so honoured you came tonight. We are so sorry this unfortunately happened.”

Kieran Dunn, who was in the audience, told the Extra people began screaming when the incident happened. He added: “I was seated four rows back in the stalls. I first noticed something was wrong when I heard a low rumbling at the back of the hall. At first we thought it was part of the show, a sound effect or what not.

“However, as the noise got louder, it became clear that something was wrong.”

In 2013, 76 people were injured, seven seriously, when part of the ceiling collapsed in the Apollo Theatre, owned by a different theatre company.

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