Entertainment

Thursday 21 November 2019

Death of a Salesman moves to Young Vic after Piccadilly Theatre ceiling collapse

US actor Wendell Pierce, who stars in the production, said he hoped those injured during the incident were ‘recovered and healing’.

Firefighters outside the Piccadilly Theatre, London, following its evacuation on Wednesday (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Firefighters outside the Piccadilly Theatre, London, following its evacuation on Wednesday (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

By Luke Powell, PA

Performances of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman have been cancelled for the rest of the week at Piccadilly Theatre after part of its ceiling collapsed.

About 1,100 people had to be evacuated from the theatre in Denman Street in London’s West End when a section of ceiling crashed down into the auditorium.

Four people were taken to hospital following the incident on Wednesday night, which occurred during a stage performance of Death of a Salesman, starring US actor Wendell Pierce.

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Part of the theatre’s ceiling collapsed during the show (Theo Carter/PA)

A spokesman for the show said it will still go ahead, with three special performances at the Young Vic theatre in Waterloo.

All ticket-holders of the cancelled shows will be able to secure a refund or exchange for a future performance.

Suits star Pierce, who plays protagonist Willy Loman in the show, said in a statement on Thursday “the show must go on”.

“First, I hope those injured last night in the incident are recovered and healing,” said Pierce, who is also known for playing Bunk Moreland in HBO drama The Wire.

“Their well-being is the most important thing.

“I am also so grateful that the Death of a Salesman company is able to continue performances of Arthur Miller’s great play.”

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About 1,100 people had to be evacuated from the theatre (Molly Brean/PA)

Pierce said the audience response had been “overwhelming” and thanked the Young Vic theatre for enabling the production to continue.

He said: “In the time-honoured tradition of the theatre, the show must go on.”

Performances at the Young Vic will take place on Friday night and will be followed by a matinee and evening performance on Saturday.

“Ticket-holders for the cancelled performances this week will be contacted to make arrangements regarding these performances at the Young Vic,” a spokesman for the Death of a Salesman production said.

Six people were treated for injuries at the scene following the ceiling collapse, with four being taken to hospital, the London Ambulance Service said.

Journalist Martin George, 41, who was sitting in the theatre’s grand circle at the time of the incident, said there were screams from the audience as a “chunk” of ceiling fell down.

PA Media

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