Close shave for stars of Sweeney Todd

HEADLINE performers Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton had a close shave following a technical glitch during Chichester Festival Theatre’s Friday performance of Sweeney Todd.

Theatre-lovers had to leave around an hour into the tale about the demon barber of Fleet Street when problems were encountered with the revolve that is used to manoeuvre scenery and props on and off stage.

The show was stopped in the first act while stage crews tried to fix the problem, but the audience was eventually told to go home after being told it was too dangerous to continue.

Kathy Bourne, festival producer at Chichester Festival Theatre, said: “Although attempts were made to fix the equipment, it was not possible to do so that night.

“This meant that, to ensure the safety of all of the cast and technical crew, the performance could not continue, as the revolve is such an integral part of how this production is staged.

“We would never take the decision to cancel a performance lightly, however the safety of everyone concerned must always come first.

“Thankfully we were able to rectify the technical issues in time for the matinee and evening performances on Saturday, when everything went smoothly.

“We would like to thank Friday’s audience for their patience and understanding.

“As we promised on the night, we have contacted everyone who attended on Friday to offer the chance to see the production on another date.”