Update: Schedules Resume with Minute's SilenceDate: 8 July 2005
UPDATED @ 6pm: A comment from Andrew Lloyd Webber has now been added to this story.
After yesterday’s morning rush hour terrorist attacks on London, all West End theatres shut down last night for the first time since the Blitz during the Second World War (See News, 7 Jul 2005). However, today, across theatreland, the show will go on.
This morning, Londoners made their way into work via the public transport network a bit more slowly and cautiously than normal, but with buses back up and running as well as overground trains and many Tube lines, things were almost back to business as usual. And so it is in theatreland.
Richard Pulford, chief executive of SOLT, said: "It's business as usual in the West End. Yesterday's events were absolutely appalling and, like everyone else, everybody in the theatre industry has been totally shocked by them. But equally, like everybody, we are determined that it is not going to make a difference to our way of life and we are going to carry on. I am delighted that all the shows are back on tonight."
Many West End performances will be preceded by a minute's silence as a mark of respect to the victims of yesterday's attacks.
Speaking at Sydmonton, Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose Really Useful Theatres run 12 West End venues, said: “London’s theatres are open this weekend for business as usual. Despite the horrific events on Thursday morning both the management, performers and production staff are totally committed to making sure that the curtain goes up. The theatres are at the cultural heart of the capital attracting millions of overseas visitors and loyal theatregoers from across the UK. Extra security precautions will be taken and we ask for extra vigilance from the public, but the shows must go on.”
Weekend rock concerts in Hyde Park – Queen tonight and REM tomorrow – have been postponed by a week.
Theatregoers who want to check their performances or have difficulty travelling are advised to contact the appropriate venue box offices regarding refunds or exchanges.
- by Terri Paddock