Column Eight: Theatre acts on City lines

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THE CITY'S mores are stretching further afield even than Docklands. Private investment has reached Stratford East, where the Theatre Royal has raised pounds 220,000 from individuals in the local community to take its adaptation of H G Wells' The Invisible Man to the West End.

The minimum investment was supposed to be pounds 1,000 although, in true City fashion, a number of investors went into syndicates. (The most unusual syndicate comprised the theatre's wages clerk, a long- standing audience member, the financial controller and secretary, plus one resident writer). Previews begin at the Vaudeville on 6 February.

EVODE, the glue maker fighting off a takeover bid from Wassall, is dead keen to reassure its shareholders that repayment of pounds 27m worth of US dollar preference shares is so far away that they needn't worry their pretty little heads about it.

So keen, in fact, that this ingenious formula appeared in its defence document yesterday: 'Redemption is not due to start until the first quarter of the financial year ending September 1997.' Er, that's September 1996, isn't it? Still, you might not notice if you read it quickly.

TWENTY-TWO months after he shed his toupee and took up residence in Pleasanton, California, Michael Milken was transferred yesterday to a halfway house in Los Angeles.

So the former Drexel Burnham financier, whose remaining prison term is to be served performing community service, now has a chance to follow through on the sudden interest in charity cases that he demonstrated prior to his sentencing.

WE OFFER you a new definition of the notorious 'spiral' within the Lloyd's insurance market, where reinsurance claims cascade on top of each other. It is this: when the estate of a deceased mother sues her professional underwriter son (in this sad case Stephen Merrett, newly- elected deputy chairman of Lloyd's) for losses on the syndicate managed by him . . .

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