Fiery Start for The Absolute 80’s Show

The Barnyard Theatre at Gateway’s year-end show, The Absolute 80’s got off to a fiery start recently when the opening night’s success was marred by a fire after the theatre had closed. The Socialite checks it out…

The fire appears to have been caused by a cigarette that set light to one of the leather couches in the venue’s smoking lounge.  Gateway’s control room was alerted to the fire when the smoke detectors alarm sounded around midnight after the venue had been locked up and, upon inspection by centre security, they found thick smoke coming from the venue and water from the theatre’s sprinkler system.  The Umhlanga Fire Station were immediately called in to respond and were able to control the fire, extinguishing it before extensive damage was done.

While fire damage to The Barnyard was confined to the smoking lounge on the mezzanine level, there is extensive water and smoke damage, not only to the theatre, but also to other Gateway tenants.  The necessary assessments and reports are still awaited, but it is anticipated that total damage caused from the fire could run into millions of rands.

Theatre owner Debbie Davidson was called to the site by Gateway centre management, where she assessed the situation with Ethekwini Fire’s Division Commander Kanniappen and his team.  “This is obviously a very unfortunate incident but, all things considered, I am very relieved that the fire was contained and relatively little damage done to the venue.  It is thanks to swift action taken by Gateway’s services and the Umhlanga Fire Department that the venue was saved and the centre was not more severely damaged,” said Davidson.  “While a full assessment of the damage done to electrical and other equipment will be undertaken this morning, cleaning up operations are well underway, and it is anticipated that we will only need to cancel two nights’ shows – Thursday and Friday.”

If the opening night’s show was anything to go by, guests can look forward to nothing less than a sizzling season of entertainment…

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