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Nine weeks after the Apollo Theatre’s ceiling collapsed on 19 December, its owner Nica Burns has said the 113-year-old theatre will reopen.

Speaking to the London Evening Standard, Burns said that her Grade II-listed theatre, built in 1901, would reopen on 26 March – albeit without its former resident production, The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time.

As Access All Areas reported last month, the collapse of the Apollo’s ceiling on the audience, cast and staff during a performance of The Curious Incident left producers of the National Theatre production reeling. Not knowing the extent of the damage or for how long the Apollo would be out of commission, the National Theatre announced on 8 January that it would be taking The Curious Incident across the road to the Delmont Mackintosh-owned Gielgud Theatre.

Burns, who with her business partner Max Weitzenhoffer, owns six West End theaters as part of Nimax Theatres, told the Standard that there was no reason to expect the ceiling to collapse and that Nimax had spared no expense in making sure the building was up to safety standards.

The cost implications of keeping the theatre closed are still unknown – but when the Apollo does reopen on 26 March, it will have been a full 14 weeks since it shut its doors.

Burns said that she is in talks to bring John Tiffany’s National Theatre of Scotland production Let the Right One In to the Apollo. Of the National Theatre’s decision to pull The Curious Incident from the Apollo, Burns said she was ‘blindsided’.

“I am sorry to see them go,” Burns told the Standard. “I wish them well, but for whatever reason that is what they have decided. But every time I walk past [the Gielgud] it feels like its stolen my passion.”

The Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, London, reopens on 26 March with the upper gallery roofed in and refurbishments throughout.

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Posted on: 19/2/14