Showbiz / 06-11-2019

Wendell Pierce tells Piccadilly Theatre audience to ‘go to the pub’ after ceiling collapse

Wendell Pierce tells Piccadilly Theatre audience to ‘go to the pub’ after ceiling collapse

Wendell Pierce personally made sure the audience at his play were safe and well after part of a ceiling collapsed at Piccadilly Theatre.

Several people suffered minor injuries after the incident which occurred on Wednesday night during a performance of Death Of A Salesman in London.

American actor Pierce, who stars in the play, was spotted addressing the evacuated audience on the street.

He apologised for the ‘unfortunate’ incident and encouraged theatre-goers to ‘go to the pub’ with their friends and family.

In video captured by Ed Zanders on the night, Pierce, 55, addresses the crowd just outside the theatre entrance.

He says: ‘I did not mean for it to go like this. I would like to thank you all for safely evacuating.

‘We apologise and we’re glad that no one’s hurt. And I ask you all to come back and see our production. We’re so honoured that you came tonight, and so sorry that this unfortunately has happened.

‘We promise you, in return, we will make this a memorable evening of theatre no matter what. So as of now, turn to your loved ones and friends to the left and right, and say, “which pub are we going to?” And let’s go there and have a memorable night in anticipation of coming back.’

The Jack Ryan actor went on: ‘I wanna thank you from the bottom of my heart, and all the cast, we want to say thank you for coming out, and try to find time in the next eight weeks to return.

‘We promise we will give you the performance of a lifetime.’

Pierce previously starred in US drama Suits opposite the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle.

Describing the scene inside, journalist Martin George, 41, who was sitting in the Grand Circle, said there were screams coming from the audience as part of the ceiling came crashing down.

Mr George said: ‘About 10 minutes into the performance you could hear this slight dripping sound in the [Grand] circle and people were looking around, wondering what was happening, but the play carried on.

‘As the minutes passed, the dripping became more frequent and it sounded like more water was coming through the ceiling, causing a few people to get up and move.

‘The sound eventually got so loud that we stood up and started to leave, as we were wondering what was going to happen.

‘Then, as we stood up, this huge chunk of ceiling, about three to four metres across, crashed down.

‘There were people screaming at that point and everyone got up and streamed down the stairs.’

The Met’s City of Westminster Police said on Twitter: ‘Police on scene with LAS & LFB at Piccadilly Theatre in Denman St #Westminster after reports of a ceiling collapse around 7.59pm.

‘Everyone is out of the theatre. A few people have suffered minor injuries. ‘Road closures in place.

‘Motorists advised to use alternative routes.’

London Fire Brigade said in a tweet: ‘Firefighters are attending the Piccadilly Theatre where a section of plaster has fallen from the ceiling during a performance.

‘Around 1,100 people evacuated the theatre before we arrived.’

06-11-2019 23:30, source: metro, by James Foster
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