Four performances of Boney M musical Daddy Cool have been cancelled due to a structural fault with the ceiling at the West End’s Shaftesbury Theatre. The problem was discovered during a routine check yesterday (1 November 2006). Last night’s evening show was cancelled, as were today’s matinee and evening performances and Friday evening’s performance. A decision about Saturday’s performances will be made on Friday.

James Williams, executive producer of the Theatre of Comedy Company, which owns the Shaftesbury, told “A structural fault has appeared that we are dealing with, and we want to get it fixed before we allow people back into the theatre. We want to have the work done to allow the Saturday performances to go ahead, but everyone’s had builders in before and knows it’s not always straightforward. Our staff and the Daddy Cool staff are doing all they can to help, and the contractors understand our situation.”

In 2002, the Shaftesbury had to shut its doors for several months after being served with a noise abatement notice by Camden Council following complaints by residents in the block of flats adjacent to the theatre (See News, 7 Feb 2002). Umoja, the South African song and dance show then resident at the Shaftesbury, was forced to close but later reopened at the Queen’s Theatre.

Daddy Cool features the hits of Seventies disco group Boney M, reinterpreted with contemporary influences and set alongside a modern London story loosely based on Romeo and Juliet (See News, 19 Jan 2006). It stars EastEndersMichelle Collins, pop star Javine and So Solid Crew’s Harvey. The musical - which has a book by Amani Naphtali and Stephen Plaice - is directed by Andy Goldberg, designed by Jon Morrell and produced by record mogul Frank Farian and Robert Mackintosh.

Theatregoers who booked for one of the cancelled performances are being offered refunds or exchanges for another date. Earlier this week, Daddy Cool announced a six-month extension (See News, 31 Oct 2006). It’s now booking up to 1 September 2007.

- by Caroline Ansdell