The Society of London Theatre (SOLT), the not-for-profit organisation that represents London theatre producers, owners and managers, has released a statement following the incident at the Apollo theatre last night.
The statement reads: “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 20 and Saturday 21 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.”
The incident at the Apollo Theatre last night took place during the evening performance of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time with an estimated 720 people in the audience.
Westminster Council are due to report on their initial findings as to what exactly had occurred this afternoon. However, Graham Ellis, the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, confirmed that plasterwork had fallen on to the upper circle, the dress circle and the stalls.
The response from the emergency services was fast and neighbouring theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue acted as triage for the wounded.