Chichester Festival Theatre emptied over fire alarm

A thousand theatre-goers were evacuated into the pouring rain after a smoke machine, which was to be used on stage, activated the fire alarms at Chichester Festival Theatre.

The 4pm Monday performance of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe by Chichester Festival Youth Theatre was delayed by half an hour while firefighters checked that everything was safe.

The audience was ordered to leave the building just before 3.45. Two fire engines attended and the audience, after nearly half an hour in the rain outside, were allowed back in at 4.10. Some theatre-goers didn’t stay. The performance finally got underway at 4.30pm.

For the full story. see this week’s Observer.