West End Theatres Overrun by Mice and Rats, Say Actors


'One of the girl's warm-up tops' was eaten through, report finds

West End Theatres Overrun by Mice and Rats, Say Actors.

WEST END theatres are infested with mice and rats who 'leave their faeces', according to a new report by the actors' union Equity.

In the survey, 75% of stage managers admitted their venues have vermin trouble and the little visitors appear to be star-struck as 66% of actors said they'd come across evidence of mice and/or rats.

"Our floors have been eaten by mice and they leave their faeces," was one actor's comment in the survey of 350 performers and stage managers.

A second actor said: "I had tiny bite marks on my lipstick recently when I left the lid off."

"They eat through food packaging and even through one of the girl's warm-up tops," said another performer.

"I knew it was bad out there, but I am really shocked by this," said Equity's Christine Payne.

"These findings mean that tonight, over 600 actors and stage managers will go to work knowing that they will probably see and smell vermin, both living and decomposing, in their workplace.

"These appalling conditions must come to an end."

Equity want increased thesp pest control, but that doesn't look too likely, given the reaction to the report by the Society of London Theatre, the umbrella group for theatre owners.

"I've never heard anything so ridiculous in all my life," said Nica Burns, president of SoLT.

"Do you know the mice population in London? It's a known statistic. You are only 3ft away from a mouse. Every single theatre owner I know spends an awful lot of money on pest control contracts."


Submitted by pest3com on Tue, 2010-10-05 13:56.

I run a pest control company in London and we have many contracts in central London. I am not surprised by the article however seeing how most of the famous theatres are located above or next to underground tube stations this is quite normal. Theatres are normally big dark places and cleaning up after the show is over can prove difficult so imagine all the titbits left over for them to feed on - pure heaven. I recently visited the West End with my boys a few weeks back and we came up by Tube and they were excited by the number of mice they could see on the tracks at Leicester Square.

In order to keep the mice under control they must have regular pest control visits in place. Visits must be regular and thorough in order to eradicate the type of infestations we have seen in Central London. Its tough but hey the show must go on

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 2010-03-04 16:12.

Dear Nica,

from your argument, all of the residents of Soho and "Theatreland" - of which there are many - would have mice running riot in their kitchens and living rooms. This is just not so. Yours is a fatuous statement at best. More needs to be done; I can't imagine you would put up with conditions even half as bad in your home.

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