10:37AM, Wednesday 08 June 2016
Theatregoers at the Theatre Royal Windsor were forced to evacuate last night as torrential rain started to flood the theatre and basement.
The opening night of One Man, Two Guvnors had to be cancelled as the crowd was led out of the venue in Thames Street.
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service said the theatre’s anti-flood pumps were not working at the time, leaving theatregoers, actors and staff at risk due to electricity units underneath and behind the stage.
Fire and rescue crews arrived on the scene at about 10pm to offer advice to people leaving the theatre, none of whom were injured.
Update 11.40am: The theatre has said the audience which missed the last few minutes of the show will be given free tickets in compensation.
Members of the audience who were evacuated from the building last night when water began coming through the theatre’s doors will be able see the show again on any day they choose during the week.
The theatre is currently undergoing repairs and restoration but say the comedy play is still due to go ahead tonight.
Update 2.11pm: A statement from Theatre Royal Windsor said a sudden, intense thunderstorm led to flooding of the corridors and front rows of the auditorium during the second act of the show.
The performance was immediately suspended and the team decided it should not resume due to safety concerns.
Theatre director Robert Miles said: “It was the opening night of our exciting Repertory Festival and the house was extremely busy. Our team responded quickly and efficiently to the incident and ensured all audience members were safely escorted out of the auditorium.
“Our audience were very understanding of the situation and we are grateful for their cooperation.
“Our investigations into what caused the flooding are still ongoing and we are working with the local engineers to prevent this from happening again. Fortunately, the damage will not affect the remaining festival performances.
“Once again we are keeping the theatre’s doors open. We encourage you to come and support your local theatre and the Repertory Festival.”
Anyone who attended last night’s show should call 01753 853888 or email email@example.com for more information.
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