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07 September 2023

Comedian Jimmy Carr postpones tour date after theatre closes for review of concrete risk

07 September 2023

Jimmy Carr has been forced to postpone a show in Kent after the theatre closed to review the use of dangerous concrete in the building.

The comedian, 50, announced that his Friday performance at The Orchard Theatre as part of his Terribly Funny 2.0 tour would be rearranged after Dartford Borough Council suspended all shows “with immediate effect” until the end of September.

The review comes over fears that the theatre, built in 1983, used reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) which could pose a safety risk.

Carr, known for his stand-up routines and hosting roles on shows such as 8 Out Of 10 Cats, tweeted: “Unfortunately, my tour show at Dartford Orchard Theatre on Friday September 8 will not be going ahead.

“The venue is closing temporarily to review the use of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) in the building.”

Carr said ticket providers will contact audience members with details of the new show date in due course.

The Orchard Theatre tweeted: “We’re sorry to announce that all September events at the Orchard Theatre have been suspended.

“This is due to a closure as agreed with Dartford Borough Council while a review is carried out around the use of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) in the building.”

In a statement, Dartford Borough Council said it had been commissioning regular surveys on The Orchard Theatre and the last report in April continued to suggest that defects in the Raac panels in the theatre’s roof were “not significant”.

It said it had been planning to replace panels in the “medium to long term” but a routine inspection carried out on Monday led to a consultant recommending the theatre close until further surveys could be carried out and a solution identified.

Jeremy Kite, leader of the council, said: “It’s not the news that anyone wants to hear but there is nothing more important than the safety of the audiences, staff, artists, volunteers and everyone at the venue.

“This problem was embedded in the building at the time of its construction in 1983 and it is one of thousands of buildings built using this construction method.

“Although any closure is a blow, we are in the fortunate position to have the resources and determination to put the building right and reopen it for the benefit of residents.

“Both Dartford Borough Council and Trafalgar Theatres are committed to making the necessary adaptations required as soon as possible to allow performances to recommence.

“We, and our partners at Trafalgar Theatres, know this will cause inconvenience and disappointment, but the safety of our customers and staff is our number one priority.”

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