Theatre News

Trespassers caused 'tens of thousands' of pounds' worth of damage to Wyndham's Theatre, Cameron Mackintosh says

The incident occurred on Sunday night

Football fans on the Wyndham's Theatre
Trespassers on the Wyndham's Theatre, in a photo attached to Mackintosh's letter
(© Cameron Mackintosh Limited)

Cameron Mackintosh has penned a letter to the Prime Minister following the events of Sunday afternoon, which saw a crowd of individuals climb onto the Wyndham's Theatre.

In the letter, Mackintosh details how: "Around 50 people broke through fencing at Wyndham's Theatre and climbed on to the delicate canopy of this 19th century, grade II* listed building in the heart of the West End…the police appeared insufficiently resourced to deal with this vandalism and the danger posed to trespassers, and it was only later that riot police finally arrived."

Looping in culture secretary Oliver Dowden, London mayor Sadiq Khan, councillor Rachael Robathan and commissioner Cressida Dick, Mackintosh stated that: "Significant damage was inflicted on the theatre, with repairs estimated in the tens of thousands, and the incident could easily have resulted in serious injury or fatality."

The venue is set to reopen next month with the award-winning play Leopoldstadt, penned by Tom Stoppard. Mackintosh continued: "Why was the West End subjected to chaos with seemingly little to no crowd management or police protection on what was obviously always going to be a highly-charged and exceptionally emotional day for the whole nation?"

Mackintosh described the affair as a "grim metaphor for the way in which government has treated commercial theatre since March 2020. Time and again, and in stark contract to other industries and the multi-million dollar US federal aid grants awarded to help re-open Broadway theatres and productions, we have simply been left to fend for ourselves…met with impediment in our urgent plea for help to solve the crippling uncertainty caused by unworkable isolation rules and unobtainable insurance."

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