Andrew Lloyd Webber Had Warned of Apollo Theatre Condition 10 Years Ago

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Andrew Lloyd Webber Had Warned of Apollo Theatre Condition 10 Years Ago

The UK's Daily Mail reports that famed composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber had warned of the 'shocking' condition of London's Apollo Theatre 10 years ago, and asked that the Grade II listed building be torn down to avoid a dangerous situation.

Speaking to the Times in 2000, Lloyd Webber, who owned the theater at the time, said the building should be demolished and a state-of-the-art new theatre be built in its place. 'The Apollo in particular is a shocking place,' said the composer, who in 2005 sold the structure to Nimax. 'I suggested that both it and the Lyric should be knocked down and replaced by top-quality modern theatres.'

The ceiling of the West End venue collapsed last Thursday, December 19th during the performance of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time. Ten audience members were injured as a result. According to the report, the owner of the building claimed last year that the theatre had 'suffered years of benign neglect'.

Nica Burns, co-owner and chief executive of Nimax Theatres, said in an interview last year that it had a budget of a mere £2.45 million to restore its five West End playhouses. Speaking to Theatres Magazine, Ms Burns commented, "Before we could start on the improvements, we had to address the damp. Water attacks the building from above and below."

The 112-year-old building has been shut down until January 4 to give investigators time to work out exactly how the accident happened as well as remove any remaining wooden beams and chunks of plaster which covered the fully packed house.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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