Fire damages Ovalhouse Theatre – but the show will go on

London Fire Brigade attends the fire at Ovalhouse Theatre
London Fire Brigade attends the fire at Ovalhouse Theatre

Ovalhouse Theatre has been left severely damaged after a fire broke out on Friday.

London Fire Brigade was called on Friday morning (January 9) after cleaners spotted smoke coming from the building. The fire mainly affected the box office but luckily there were no injuries.

The Fire Brigade’s station manager Paul Hobbs, who was the scene, said: “There was a lot of smoke and firefighters worked extremely hard in hot conditions to bring the fire under control.”

Although the fire was relatively small, there was a lot of smoke damage and the computer cabling and phone lines have been affected. The building is likely to be out of action for several weeks.

Despite this, the theatre remains positive. Director Deborah Bestwick said the damaged area was a “sorry sight” and would require a lot of work but added that the theatre has already enlisted help to fix it.

Their new theatre season begins in March, with rehearsals starting in February. Bestwick said everyone was working hard to ensure the venue would be ready in time and it is unlikely there will be any interruption to the programme.

In the meantime, Bestwick said “our Creative Youth team have found creative ways to ensure that we can continue our young people’s work, and we are prioritising the re-commissioning of rehearsal rooms and the theatre in an ordered way so that we will be all spick and span for the opening of an exciting Spring theatre season.”

The Ovalhouse Theatre is due to move to a new purpose built theatre as part of the Somerleyton Road redevelopment in 2017..