Lucky escape for Brent students after Apollo Theatre ceiling collapses

The Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue (pic credi: PA/Ian West)

The Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue (pic credi: PA/Ian West) - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

A group of students had a “lucky escape” after they arrived home from the Apollo Theatre hours before the ceiling collapsed over the very seats they had been sitting in.

The Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue (pic credi: PA/Ian West)

The Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue (pic credi: PA/Ian West) - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

The year ten pupils from Alperton Community School in Ealing Road, Alperton, had been to a matinee showing of the popular show The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at the Shaftesbury Avenue venue.

Hours later 80 people were injured, seven seriously, after masonry and ornate plaster from the Grade II-listed theatre plummeted on to the stalls below, dragging a section of the balcony with it.

Suzanne Hartley, head of literacy at the school said: “I’m really pleased to report that we were not caught up in the incident yesterday.

“We went to the matinee which was absolutely fantastic, the students were blown over by the performance, it was really, really fantastic.


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“Then of course we came home and heard the roof had collapsed in the theatre that we’d just been in.”

She added: “The very seats we had been sitting in were covered in bricks and rubble. We felt very lucky and as if we had had a narrow escape – so definitely a memorable outing for Alperton students.”

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Lea Knightley, one of the pupils, hasn’t been deterred by the incident.

“I would love to go again,” she said, “Tt was a great experience.”

However her mother Anne Knightley said: “I was shocked and I will be thinking twice before letting my children go on school trips again.”

Police have ruled there is no criminal involvement so Westminster City Council will take over the investigation.

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