Lily Allen is rushed off stage in the middle of her performance in The Pillowman as theatre is evacuated and fire brigade is called
London’s Duke of York’s Theatre was evacuated on Wednesday halfway through a performance of The Pillowman.
Martin McDonagh’s revival of the show stars Lily Allen, who was rushed off stage after a fire alarm went off.
Audience members were rushed outside by security and reported that a fire engine soon arrived on the scene.
Several ticket holders spoke of their confusion after the play was halted, with one saying: ‘Lily rushed off stage – everyone thought it was a scary part of the play, but it turns out it was real.’
Another tweeted: ‘Right in the middle of a gripping performance of the Pillowman at the Duke of York’s Theatre, we were evacuated.
Emergency: London’s Duke of York’s Theatre was evacuated on Wednesday halfway through a performance of The Pillowman
Safety concern: Martin McDonagh’s revival of the show stars Lily Allen, who was rushed off stage after a fire alarm went off (Lily pictured in character)
‘Fire brigade showed up a few minutes later. Not sure why yet, but the spell is broken I’m afraid.’
A third lamented: ‘I’m not joking [sic] I just got evacuated out of pillowman’.
However, the incident was soon dealt with and the audience allowed back in as the play recommenced.
One theatre goer penned: ‘Apparently a false alarm. Game on’, while another echoed: ‘It was a false alarm we are back in now’.
Speaking to The Sun, a spokesperson from London Fire Brigade confirmed they were called to the scene and that it had been a false alarm.
They stated: ‘Firefighters responded to an automatic fire alarm sounding at a theatre on St Martin’s Lane in Central London.
‘The theatre was evacuated as a precaution. A crew attended and following investigation, established there was no fire.
‘The Brigade was called at 3.11pm and the incident was over for firefighters by 3.24pm.
‘A fire engine from Lambeth Fire Station attended the scene.’
Evacuation: Audience members were rushed outside by security and reported that a fire engine soon arrived on the scene
Singer Lily plays the role of Katurian in the play, a writer of disturbingly violent stories who is imprisoned by a totalitarian state.
The Pillowman follows Katurian as she is brutally questioned by authorities after a spate of murders bear similarities to her short stories.
Starring opposite Steve Pemberton, who plays Tupolski and Matthew Tennyson, who stars as Michael, Lily takes the role that was played by David Tennant twenty years ago.
The black comedy ‘examines the role of the artist in society and asks what price do we pay for freedom of expression’, according to a synopsis on the play’s website.
Speaking about The Pillowman’s discussions around censorship, Lily said the play raises a lot of questions about freedom of speech and the internet.
She said: ‘There’s a bit of violence in it. She’s an artist and writer and that’s something I relate to. She definitely pushes boundaries. There was a lot for me to tap into.’
Lily, who is used to performing as a singer, told how she likes the settled nature of starring in a theatrical production.
The black comedy, which is ‘widely regarded as one of the greatest plays of the past 25 years’, will be running at the Duke of York Theatre in London until early next month.
Black comedy: The Pillowman follows Katurian as she is brutally questioned by authorities after a spate of murders bear similarities to her short stories