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Fire damage shuts Barking’s Broadway Theatre for three months

Broadway Theatre, Barking. Photo: Ewan Munro Broadway Theatre, Barking. Photo: Ewan Munro
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Barking’s Broadway Theatre might not fully reopen until late October in the wake of a fire that caused major damage to its electrical systems.

Theatre chiefs suggested power may not be restored to the main auditorium for nearly three months, while repairs will also be undertaken to fix smoke damage to the building’s studios and workshops.

No one was injured in the blaze, which broke out at an electrical sub-station next to the theatre at about 3am on July 26.

Barking and Dagenham College, which manages the theatre, said they were “confident” power could be restored to the venue’s foyer and spaces used by the school by early September.

Executive venue manager Mark Civil revealed there were plans to stage shows in the theatre’s foyer while electrical repairs took place in the auditorium.

“We were already developing the foyer as a second space in the theatre, with a growing programme of performances and events,” he explained.

“For September onwards, we will concentrate on developing our repertoire in this space, and I am sure that local people will continue to support us.”

Shows already programmed in the coming weeks have now all been relocated to nearby buildings, and Civil praised “some fantastic cooperation from our partners”.

He added: “For the main auditorium, our focus is to be up and running again for the start of panto rehearsals at the end of October. Bookings are very healthy for Aladdin and we hope this will continue, as our box office is open for business.”

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