Chichester Festival Theatre show stopped as audience member collapses

A show at the Chichester Festival Theatre was temporarily stopped last night after an audience member collapsed.

The incident happened during a performance of Art - a comedy starring Nigel Havers, Denis Lawson and Stephen Tompkinson.

Chichester Festival Theatre. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Chichester Festival Theatre. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Read more:

Woman airlifted to hospital and road outside Chichester closed after serious car accident
A spokeswoman for the theatre, based in Oaklands Park, Chichester, said: "Last night's performance of Art began at 7.30pm.

"At 8.10pm a gentleman collapsed in the front row of the auditorium.

"Our Front of House Manager, Ben Geering, called a show stop in order to be able to assist the gentleman.

"A number of doctors came forward from the audience to offer help. An ambulance was called.

"Ben made an onstage announcement calling an interval and thanking the audience for their understanding whilst we dealt with the situation."

Paramedics then helped the man out of the auditorium using an 'evac-chair' after 15 mins. This is an upright chair used by paramedics to transport patients up and down stairs.

The spokeswoman said: "After a second onstage announcement, again thanking the audience for their understanding, the show was restarted; the total stop time was 22 minutes.

"The gentleman was treated by the ambulance crew."

The theatre spokeswoman said the man was discharged by paramedics, and therefore not taken to hospital, but is not thought to have returned to see the rest of the show.