Dartford's Orchard Theatre to remain shut over Raac fears

A theatre will remain closed for longer than first expected because of fears over reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) in its roof.

Dartford's Orchard Theatre had initially announced a one-month closure for inspections to be carried out.

A statement from Trafalgar Theatres on Friday said a phased approach to repairs was not now possible.

One of the shows lost during the closure was an appearance by the comedian Jimmy Carr.

The theatre will remain closed until at least 31 October.

Dartford Borough Council (DBC) said in the joint statement it had begun fast-tracking "substantial works" including a full roof replacement project, along with other improvements while the theatre remained closed.

'No alternative'

Trafalgar Theatres said it had been "greatly touched" by support for the Orchard, adding it highlighted "the huge role our theatre plays in the cultural and economic life of the town".

It said: "We had no alternative but to close the theatre based on the advice we received but are we are committed to re-opening to audiences as soon as we can."

The theatre operator said it would be looking for alternative venues and ways to put on shows to minimise the impact to local theatregoers.

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