Two West End productions were brought to a halt yesterday after an electrical fire broke out in the boiler room of the one theatres.
Audiences watching matinee performances of Les Misérables and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time were evacuated.
People watching Les Misérables were plunged into darkness 30 minutes into the performance when the electrical fault caused a power cut.
Around 1,200 people were forced to leave the Queen's and Gielgud theatres and wait on the streets, including the cast of Les Misérables who were still dressed in their costumes.
Both the cast and audience members took to Twitter to share pictures of the evacuation. One Twitter user called John Hodge posted a picture of two actors looking disgruntled and wrote, "Now evacuated! Could be worse. We could be the cast of Les Mis!"
The cast of Les Mis are alive and well! pic.twitter.com/GHmxn35lmQ- Tamsin Dowsett (@TamsinDowsett) January 3, 2015
Went to see Les Mis in London. 1/2 hour in, theatre evacuated because of a fire.. pic.twitter.com/BQ57VcDDxP- Stacky™ (@JordanStack7) January 3, 2015
Now evacuated! Could be worse. We could be the cast of Les Mis! pic.twitter.com/wmvCeTOO2o- John Hodge (@johnphodge) January 3, 2015
heartbroken that I booked Les Mis ages ago and I've wanted to see it over a year with my mum 20 minutes in we got evacuated #LesMiserables- Donna Gillians (@DonnaGillians) January 3, 2015
The fire crews dealt with the small fire, which was caused by an overheated cable that serves both the theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue.
Theatre highlights of 2015
Theatre highlights of 2015
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2/7 Bend it Like Beckham - Phoenix Theatre
Gurinder Chadha directs a musical adaptation of her film about a Sikh girl who defies her family for football, scored by Howard Goodall. We’re promised a celebratory state-of-the-nation comedy.
3/7 Hard Problem - National Theatre
The Hard Problem is consciousness in Tom Stoppard’s first new play for nine years. It’s set in a brain science institute and directed by Nicholas Hytner, who steps down at the National Theatre after a glorious reign, in April.
4/7 The Hook - Royal & Derngate
To celebrate the Arthur Miller centenary, James Dacre directs a world premiere, adapted by Ron Hutchinson from Miller’s FBI-suppressed screenplay about mobsters in the dockyards of 1950s Brooklyn.
5/7 Farinelli and the King - Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
Mark Rylance stars in this fascinating real-life story, dramatised by his wife Claire van Kampen, about Philippe V of Spain and the castrato whose voice cured him of insomnia and despair.
6/7 Antigone - Barbican and King's Theatre
The visionary Flemish director Ivo van Hove brings us Sophocles’s great tragedy in a modern version starring Juliette Binoche.
7/7 The Vote -Donmar Warehouse
James Graham aims for a media coup with his drama set in a fictional London polling booth in the last 90 minutes of Election Day 2015. The run culminates in a live broadcast on More4 on the day.
A spokesman for the Queen's Theatre said, “We are sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment caused and look forward to welcoming patrons to another performance of Les Misérables.”
No one was injured in the incident and the problem has now been fixed.
The evening performances of shows went ahead on Saturday night.
A tweet from the official Les Misérables said: “The show is back on tonight, and we haven't burnt much energy ... So we're gonna be on fire!!”
This is not the first time people have had to be evacuated from a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, which recently moved to the Gielgud. In December 2013 the audience had to leave the Apollo Theatre after the roof started to collapse.
Additional reporting from the Press AssociationReuse content