The Society of London Theatre (SOLT), the organisation that represents London theatre producers, owners and managers, has released a statement this morning following the incident at the Apollo theatre last night.
The not-for-profit organisation, which runs this website, said: “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.”
Last night’s event took place during the evening performance of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time at the Nimax Theatres-owned venue, with an estimated 720 people in the audience.
While reports were first unclear as to what exactly had occurred, 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.
Emergency services reacted quickly to the situation, treating more than 70 injured and seven seriously injured members of the public.
Last night Twitter became awash with people paying tribute to the London Fire Brigade, Metropolitan Police and London Ambulance Service for their speedy response to the situation that saw Shaftesbury Avenue closed as London buses transported the injured and shocked to nearby hospitals while nearby theatres acted as makeshift first aid points.
The front of house staff were also praised and publically thanked on Twitter for their “heroic efforts” in ensuring the safety of audience members.
The Prime Minister David Cameron last night tweeted his gratitude to the emergency services, saying: “I’ve been updated regularly on the Apollo incident. I’m grateful for the fast work of the emergency services in helping the injured.”
LATEST: Performances of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time have been cancelled until and including Saturday 11 January 2014. If you have tickets for these performances please contact your original point of purchase. For Lost Property please telephone 020 7851 2711.
“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."