Shrek the Musical is CANCELLED at leisure centre due to RAAC crisis

Now RAAC crisis sparks panic in Britain’s theatres – as National Theatre reveals it has crumbling concrete while Shrek the Musical is CANCELLED at local leisure centre

  • A showing of Shrek the Musical was cancelled in Carlisle due to the RAAC crisis
  • The National Theatre in London said it had found RAAC in its backstage areas 

The crumbling concrete crisis has sparked a panic in Britain’s theatres, causing the National Theatre to launch an investigation and leading to the cancellation of a showing of Shrek the Musical in Carlisle.  

The showing of Shrek the Musical was today cancelled after an auditorium in the council-run Sands Centre in Carlisle was forced to close after Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) was found on the facility’s roof in 2019.

The National Theatre on London’s South Bank today also said it would be surveying its building after RAAC was found in a number of its backstage areas. 

 The Orchard Theatre in Dartford today also announced it would be closing due to concerns around the safety of RAAC used in its building as it cancelled all performances until the end of September 2023. 

The RAAC crisis has led to the closure of more than 150 schools over concerns about its safety. The concrete which has air bubbles in it was used in roofs, floors and walls from the 1950s to 1990s as a cheaper alternative to standard building concrete.

A showing of Shrek the Musical was cancelled after RAAC was found in the Sands Centre in Carlisle

The Sands Centre in Carlisle has been forced to close due to the presence of RAAC concrete

The cancellation of the performance comes after the government announced on August 31 that their RAAC guidelines have changed and buildings affected would have to close down.

Over 150 schools and colleges across England have now been ordered to partially or fully close due to RAAC safety fears.

Shrek the Musical was due to perform at the council-run venue in Carlisle until Sunday but has now been cancelled because of the safety fears. 

Cumberland Council leader Cllr Mark Fryer said the decision to close ‘hasn’t been taken lightly.’

He said: ‘The decision to temporarily close the events space is a precautionary step and does not impact on the day to day running of the main leisure centre.

‘Events planned for the auditorium will unfortunately be cancelled until further notice.

‘GLL, the council’s events and leisure provider, will contact ticket holders.

‘This is not a decision that Cumberland Council has taken lightly, and we apologise to anyone who has been impacted.’

The venue is part of a leisure centre, which hasn’t been affected as the pool area, gym, sports hall, cafe and restaurant part of it have all been recently renovated.

Cllr Fryer said that work has already started to redevelopment the auditorium, which was built in the 1980s, and said the renovation has been ‘accelerated.’

He said: ‘The 1980s part of the building did not form part of the recent redevelopment work, operates separately from the redeveloped site and is self-contained.

‘Improvement works for the older part of The Sands Centre building were part of a phase two of the redevelopment and work was already underway to progress these works. ‘his work will now be accelerated.’

The National Theatre on London’s South Bank said it had discovered RAAC concrete in its backstage areas

The National Theatre also said it has found reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) in a number of its backstage areas.

The theatre on London’s South Bank said: ‘The National Theatre is a grade II listed building made predominantly from traditional reinforced and post tensioned concrete; there are a small number of select backstage areas where Raac is present.

‘Our structural engineers are in the process of surveying these areas, initial indications are that they are safe and do not currently require remedial works.

‘We have always and will continue to take the safety of our staff and audiences very seriously.’

Performances were also cancelled at The Orchard Theatre in Dartford, in Kent, in line with the government’s new guidance. 

‘When The Orchard Theatre was built in the early 1980s, reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) was considered a cheap and lightweight alternative to traditional concrete and the theatre was one of thousands of public buildings to use it during construction.

‘Dartford Borough Council has been commissioning regular surveys on The Orchard Theatre and the last report from our specialist consultants in April this year continued to report that defects in the Raac panels in the theatre’s roof were ‘not significant’. 

‘The council nevertheless began planning to replace panels in the ‘medium to long term’ in line with the consultant’s advice.

‘However, a routine inspection yesterday carried out in line with the most recent industry guidance resulted in the consultant making a recommendation to close until such time as further surveys could be carried out and a solution identified.’

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