FIRE DESTROYS ENTIRE SET OF LONDON CLASSIC THEATRE’S PRODUCTION OF MY MOTHER SAID I NEVER SHOULD
Their brilliant team and insurers have been incredibly supportive and moved really quickly to help get going again
On New Year’s Day, Founder and Artistic Director of London Classic Theatre, Michael Cabot, received the news that the Shurgard self-storage unit at Purley Way, Croydon, containing the entire set, technical equipment, props and costumes of their production of Charlotte Keatley’s play My Mother Said I Never Should was destroyed by a devastating fire on New Year’s Eve. All 1,198 storage units within the facility were demolished by the blaze. Twenty fire engines and over one hundred firefighters were reported to attend the scene.
London Classic Theatre is an unsubsidised theatre company and the close-knit team have spent the last few days remaining positive and determined to continue their touring production in 2019. They have engaged new set builders, props and costume supervisors, as well as working with their production managers and Bek Palmer, the designer, to ensure the tour will be up and running again in time for their opening on 6 February at New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth.
Michael Cabot, Artistic Director, said today ‘Last week was understandably difficult for us. Losing all of our production resources in the fire was a huge shock. We open the second leg of the My Mother Said I Never Should tour in four weeks, so time really has been of the essence. It’s an ambitious production with a very intricate and detailed design, so to recreate the whole show from scratch is a huge challenge. Fortunately, both our brilliant team and our insurers have been incredibly supportive and moved really quickly to help us get going again. This is undoubtedly a catastrophic event which has had profound consequences for many of those involved. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the fire.’
London Classic Theatre was launched in 2000 as a touring theatre company with David Mamet’s Oleanna. This inaugural tour lost a small fortune but doors had opened and, crucially, the work was being seen. Nineteen years and thirty-nine tours later, London Classic Theatre is now a successful, established part of the commercial UK touring theatre scene. The company has never received any funding or sponsorship for its work. As Artistic Director, Michael Cabot has programmed a repertoire of classic and modern classic plays, a mixture of the challenging and the commercial, big titles and less well-known. Recent productions include Terry Johnson’s Hysteria, Alan Ayckbourn’s Absent Friends and Noël Coward’s Private Lives.