Fire! Fire!


In the early hours of August 2nd 2017 the theatre suffered an arson attack. The fire doors were destroyed and the auditorium damaged by fire and smoke, as was backstage and to some extent the foyer. One of the foyer plate glass windows was also smashed.

The worst was the smell, and there were greasy soot deposits everywhere.  These were so thick that cobwebs, gossamer thin, appeared like skeins of embroidery thread.

It is now nine days since the fire and all that has been achieved is a visit from the insurance company’s loss adjuster and one from a specialist fire-damage cleaning and restoration company. Estimates will be needed from electricians and joiners and things are moving forward at a snail’s pace. I have no prospects of re-opening the theatre before the October Half Term.

I have started this blog with the intention off keeping in touch and letting everyone know what is going on.

Thank you for all the messages of support and offers of help via telephone and email. They are all so much appreciated.

12 thoughts on “Fire! Fire!”

  1. Mr Bimbamboozle,

    We are so very sorry to hear of this great tragedy. It has made our family very sad to hear of the fire at the puppet show.
    I visited the theatre earlier this year with family including my 3 year old son who was enthralled by the show. I also visited as a child with my sister, cousins and grandparents on several occasions.
    We all have very fond memories of the theatre and hope a Phoenix rises from the ashes.
    We look forward to visiting soon. Good luck with the work and stay strong.
    Ps. I hope all the puppets are ok?

  2. I am shocked and saddened to hear this news in the year before the theatre celebrates its 60th anniversary. How terrible Chris to experience this senseless attack on your and Eric’s lives’ work. All of us who admire you and are grateful to the Harlequin ( whether for its influence on us as puppeteers, or the delight it has given to hundreds of thousands of people over the years) will want to know how work progresses and what we can do to support you.

    1. Thank you Simon, hope we’ll be cleaned up and running for the 60th. Now that makes me feel really old. Come to think of it, I AM really old.

  3. Hi Chris,
    You don’t know me, but I have admired your work for ages. I’m so very sorry to hear of the arson attack, and can’t begin to imagine who would want to do such a thing.
    I hope that you get some help in the clear-up, both physically and financially. If there’s a fund set up, please let me know.
    Best wishes,
    Alison Clark. The Triple Aspect Puppet Company, Isle of Bute, Scotland.

  4. Hope things are progressing for you Chris, My grandchildren love your puppet and magic shows.
    The invention and love you have for the shows shines through into every performance.
    We look forward to your next production with crossed fingers!

    1. Very slowly I’m afraid, Bob, and I will not be able to open for the October half term but I’m sure I’ll be open for the Christmas holidays, well pretty sure!
      Thanks so much for your kind comments and concern.

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