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Curious Incident star: 'I remember very little about that exact moment... you go into survival mode'

Mike Noble was speaking during a run of free schools performances, ahead of the show reopening in the West End in June

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Mike Noble in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The star of the National Theatre's award-winning staging of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time has spoken for the first time about the night a section of ceiling collapsed during the show's run at the Apollo Theatre.

The cast are currently playing a series of free performances to school pupils ahead of reopening at the Gielgud Theatre in the Summer.

Speaking to the Independent, 25-year-old actor Mike Noble, who plays the lead role of Christopher Boone, recalled the night of the ceiling collapse.

"I was really involved in the scene but, at the same time, something in my brain was making up a story of what was happening," he said. "At first, I'm thinking someone's been taken ill, and, as they're leaving, there's a load of chairs going, 'buh-dum, buh-dum, buh-dum'.

"Then came a big crunch, and I saw the ceiling just collapse. I remember very little about that exact moment because you go into survival mode. I thought the building was coming down, and I ran."

Up to 80 people were injured, six seriously, as a result of the collapse.

The aftermath in the Apollo
© Chris Edwards

Now, more than 1,000 pupils from 14 secondary schools are getting to see Curious Incident for free thanks to a a partnership between the National Theatre - where the award-winning show originated in 2012 - and Newham Council.

Director Marianne Elliott said of the schools performances: "As soon as we knew everyone was OK, we wanted to keep the spirit of Christopher going. He finds the world overwhelming and yet he pursues his mission.

"We felt very strongly that, as the National Theatre, which is subsidised, we had to find a venue we could perform in for schools, for free, and make this into a kind of different story for us all."

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time reopens at the Gielgud Theatre on 24 June 2014. Mike Noble is nominated for Best Takeover in the 2014 WhatsOnStage Awards, winners of which are announced on 23 February.