19 December 2013

We interrupt this broadcast....

Not that I have been broadcasting much over the last couple of months (for which my continued apologies - unfortunately life sometimes just gets in the way)....

Readers may have already heard about this evening's horrific events at the Apollo Theatre.  During a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a section of the main auditorium ceiling gave way.  A lighting rig came down and fell onto a section of the Upper Circle, part of which then also collapsed.  There are many reported injured, 8 seriously, and our thoughts are with those people and their families after what must have been a terrible, terrible event.  Thankfully there are no reported fatalities. 

However, this incident does prompt serious questions.  The first is that the Apollo Theatre is a Grade II listed building.  How then has the building been allowed to fall into what seems like such serious disrepair that such an incident can happen?  Surely English Heritage demand that such buildings are regularly inspected?  

The second is that Nimax Theatres, who own this and several other theatres, charge a compulsory "Restoration Levy" on each ticket sold. That's £1 on each and every ticket sold (theatre capacity is 775 seats). Over the years this must have netted the owners a considerable amount of £. This money is supposed to be spent on restoration and maintenance, which means that we, theatregoers, are putting our hands in our pockets and paying for maintenance ourselves, which is surely the responsibility of the owners?   Why has this money apparently not been spent on restoration and maintenance and, more importantly, where has it gone?  Into the pockets of Nimax and their shareholders??  

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