After two incidents in six years, visitors may need reassurance before they return to the West End
“Don’t clap too hard: it’s a very old building,” says Archie Rice in John Osborne’s The Entertainer. His words acquire an ominous ring in the light of this week’s incident at London’s Piccadilly theatre and an even more horrific case six years ago at the Apollo.
Osborne was suggesting that a decaying music hall was an apt metaphor for a declining post-Suez Britain. Do the incidents at the Piccadilly and the Apollo offer an equally potent sign that the supposedly glittering West End theatre is inwardly crumbling?