Home News London Piccadilly Theatre ceiling collapses on audience

Several people were injured when parts of a ceiling collapsed during a Piccadilly Theatre show in London’s West End last night.

The venue in Denman Street was packed on Wednesday for a performance of the Arthur Miller play Death of a Salesman, starring US actor Wendell Pierce.

Audience members “heard dripping sounds indicating water was coming through the ceiling,” according to the theatre production company.

More than 1,000 people were evacuated.

Four people were taken to hospital after three men and two women were treated at the scene by paramedics.

“We are ascertaining the extent of the situation, and will be providing an update on future performances as soon as possible,” the Ambassador Theatre Group said.

The group said todays showing would be cancelled.

Source: BBC News

Commenting on the collapse of the ceiling, FIS technical director Joe Cilia said: ‘It’s easy to make comparisons between this ceiling collapse and that of the collapse at the Apollo Theatre in 2013, however, they are markedly different.

The failure of the fibrous ceiling at the Apollo Theatre galvanised theatre owners and managers to look at the condition of theatre ceilings and they worked with the FIS Heritage Plastering Working Group to develop methodologies to carry out structured inspections and reports, following robust competency checks.

Based only on reports in the press and social media, it appears that a water leak, perhaps caused during building work, is the cause of the collapse here and not the condition of the ceiling.’

FIS Heritage Plastering Working Group Chair Jon Riley added: ‘Whilst not knowing anything about this particular theatre or ceiling, it does underline the importance of the recent Historic England Guidance, endorsed by FIS, ABTT, Theatres Trust, Historic Environment Scotland, Department of Communities & Cadw. A copy of this can be found on https://historicengland.org.uk/advice/technical-advice/buildings/inspection-and-maintenance-of-fibrous-plaster-ceilings/

 

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