Storm Barbara forces cancellation of Leeds theatre performance

A matinee performance of Northern Ballet's Beauty & The Beast at the Leeds Grand was cancelled today as Storm Barbara battered the region.

Friday, 23rd December 2016, 12:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 2:10 pm

Theatre bosses said high winds that could potentially damage the roof of the theatre’s auditorium.

Since July 2016, Leeds Grand Theatre (LGT) has been undergoing maintenance works on its roof in order to strengthen its supporting infrastructure and preserve the historic, Grade II* listed building.

Working with independent structural surveyors and Leeds City Council, LGT carried out essential risk assessments and concluded that, as part of the works, monitoring systems should be installed to assess any movement within the roof void - the area between the auditorium and the roof – that might be caused by high winds, storms and snowfall.

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Leeds Grand CEO, Chris Blythe, said: “The weather and its effects are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week and to this point we have had no need for concern, but the high winds today have exceeded any previous and therefore, until we have the evidence to say in no uncertain terms that the building can withstand current wind speeds, we must close the theatre.”

He added: “Our utmost priority is the safety of our audiences, staff and visiting companies and whilst we understand the inconvenience and upset this will cause, we feel we have no choice but to close and assess the effects of the wind today. All ticket holders for today will be refunded, but we ask that they are patient while our Box Office team administrate this.”

“We intend to reopen on Wednesday 28th December for the 2pm matinee once we have completed our assessments; we will keep everybody updated via our website, social media channels.”

The theatre and its Box Office is closed until Wednesday, December 28.