LondonNet News Headlines
17/04/01
Fire Risk Theatres Face Closure
- 'Desperately sub-standard' conditions at a third of West End venues

THE LONDON FIRE BRIGADE has announced that one in three West End theatres could be closed due to fire risks.

Fifteen West End theatres have been ordered to improve backstage safety precautions and install fire alarms within six months or face closure. Safety authorities are less concerned with audience fire exits than with the fact that technical crew rely upon telephones and intercoms to pass on warnings. Equity has welcomed the Brigade's action, claiming that members are working in "desperately sub-standard" conditions.

The announcement adds fuel to the debate sparked by Cameron Mackintosh at the Theatre 2001 Conference regarding the dilapidated state of West End venues. Mean time, smaller fringe venues are to embark on a series of major refurbishments thanks to recent Arts Council funding.




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