Apollo Theatre: ‘Curious Incident of the Dog’ cancels performances

A fire brigade truck waits outside the Apollo Theatre in London on Friday following a partial structural collapse during a Thursday evening performance of the play "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time."
(Alastair Grant / Associated Press)
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The partial collapse of the Apollo Theatre on London’s West End on Thursday evening has raised questions about the future of the National Theatre’s award-winning production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.”

Performances of the play, which is based on the popular novel by Mark Haddon, have been canceled through at least Jan. 4. Thursday’s freak incident occured during a performance of the play when part of the Apollo’s ceiling collapsed and fell five stories onto audience members, resulting in seven serious injuries but no fatalities.

Officials in London are investigating why the ceiling caved in. The Apollo, which first opened in 1901 and seats close to 800 people, is owned by Nimax Theatres, which owns a number of prestigious West End stages. The company posted a message on its website: “This is a shocking and upsetting incident. Our thoughts are with the audience and staff who were in the theatre and their families.”


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“The Curious Incident of the Dog” began performances in 2012 at the National before transferring in March to the Apollo on the West End for an open-ended run. The production won seven Olivier Awards, Britain’s highest theater honor, including the prize for best play.

Haddon’s book follows a boy with an Asperger’s Syndrome-like condition who investigates the death of a local canine. The novel was adapted for the stage by Simon Stephens and is staged by award-winning “War Horse” director Marianne Elliott.

The National said on its website that ticketholders for the canceled performances should contact their ticket provider for refunds or exchanges. It remains unclear how long it will take to repair the ceiling of the Apollo and how soon performances of the “The Curious Incident of the Dog” will be able to resume.

Haddon tweeted that the future of the show “is a matter for discussing on another day.”

The incident at the Apollo comes at the heart of the busy holiday season for theaters, which rely on heavy tourist traffic at the box office.


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