UK Theatres Dim Lights in Memory of US VictimsDate: 14 September 2001
Though entertainment seems an almost perverse pastime in light of recent events, the theatre world has vowed that the show must – and will - go on following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington DC on Tuesday.
After two full days of closure in New York - where the World Trade Center was destroyed by two terrorist planes - the majority of Broadway theatres were preparing to reopen last night, Thursday 13 September, upon the urging of the city’s mayor Rudolph Guiliani that life must return to some state of normalcy. Though not completely normal - the League of American Theatres and Producers said that theatre marquees would be dimmed as “a gesture of respect for victims and their families”. And many theatres cordoned off in the no-go area of lower Manhattan may not be able to reopen for some time yet.
In the UK and the rest of the European Union, today has been declared a day of mourning and remembrance. Millions of people are expected to observe a three-minutes silence this morning at 11.00am in memory of the victims of the tragedy. In London, the Queen and other members of the royal family will join the Prime Minister Tony Blair at a special public service of remembrance at St Paul's Cathedral, which will be televised to the rest of the country. The service follows yesterday's special Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace when, in an unprecedented and emotional move, the American national anthem was played by the Queen's military band.
This evening, Friday 14 September, theatre performances in the West End will run as normal though, as a mark of solidarity and respect with New York, they will dim their front-of-house lights for five minutes from 8.15pm.
The events of Tuesday and their aftermath, including the closure of transatlantic airspace, have of course left many American and Canadian inbound visitors unable to travel. For those who have booked London theatre tickets, full refunds or exchanges are being offered.
- by Terri Paddock