Theatre staff working at the Piccadilly Theatre on the night its ceiling collapsed have been praised for their “quick and professional actions”.
Industry body the Society of London Theatre said front-of-house staff and emergency services handled the situation quickly and safely.
“We were immensely impressed with the quick and professional actions of staff and emergency services at the Piccadilly Theatre. More than 1,000 theatregoers were safely and calmly evacuated from the theatre by well-trained staff, who have been commended by many people attending the performance,” it said in a statement.
SOLT added that it was too early to comment on the “cause of this isolated incident”.
“The safety of audiences and staff is a key priority for all West End theatre operators. Organisations including the Society of London Theatre, UK Theatre, the Association of British Theatre Technicians and the Theatres Trust work together to ensure theatres throughout the West End and beyond are supported with detailed guidance on building inspections, maintenance and certification,” it said .
SOLT said it had a dedicated head of risk and safety “providing free advice and guidance” to individuals and member organisations where required.
Following the incident earlier this week, audience members described the “terrifying” moment when the ceiling fell in.
However, they also praised the actions of staff at the theatre. Audience member Lowri Jenkins said: “The people who were ushers did a fantastic job, they really did. I can’t imagine it was in their training but they kept calm and did a really good job at evacuating people from the building.”