Bombings: The show must go on
THE show must go on - that was the message from two of East Anglia's West End theatre stars, Sir Trevor Nunn and Ruthie Henshall.The pair were locked in the Palace Theatre, off Cambridge Circus, as the Army controlled the streets outside following Thursday's terrorist attacks in London.
THE show must go on - that was the message from two of East Anglia's West End theatre stars, Sir Trevor Nunn and Ruthie Henshall.
The pair were locked in the Palace Theatre, off Cambridge Circus, as the Army controlled the streets outside following Thursday's terrorist attacks in London.
Ruthie, who lives in Manningtree with her husband, Tim Howar, and two daughters, Lily and Dolly, takes over the lead role of Marion in the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical The Woman in White on Monday.
She said: “At the moment we are living in a rented apartment just a few streets away from Russell Square where the number 30 bus was destroyed by a bomb.
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“I didn't see or hear anything because I had already left for the theatre at that point, but Tim was at home with the girls.
“I didn't realise what had happened until I got to the theatre when I told that a bomb had exploded a bus in Tavistock Square. I was desperate because if Tim took the girls out, that's where he would catch the bus.
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“I tried phoning home, but there was no signal on the mobile and we don't have a landline there.
“I learned later that because the police suspected that the bombs were triggered by mobile phone, Vodaphone took their system down for quite a long while.”
Ruthie said she had resorted to texting warnings for Tim to keep their daughters in the house.
“I was desperate to get in touch because I had no idea how much he knew. I knew it was a big incident because not long after I arrived at the theatre, the Army literally cordoned off the street all around where we were and were not allowing any traffic up Charring Cross Road,” she added.
“At midday Trevor Nunn leapt up on the stage and said 'We can't go anywhere, and regardless of what is happening outside, we have got an opening night on Monday, so let's get on and rehearse'.
“It was a variation on the old the show must go on speech and he was quite right - the only way to defeat these bombers is to carry on as normal.”
Ruthie said that with the West End in such a buoyant state at the moment with high-profile successes Mary Poppins, Guys and Dolls, Billy Elliot and The Producers, it would be a disaster if the terrorists scared away audiences.
“The message is if you have tickets, come to the West End and use them and if you haven't, buy some - show the terrorists that we can't be cowed,” she urged.