17 MAY 2004

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Hollywood actor Luke Perry, currently appearing in London's West End, was involved in some unexpected drama on Saturday night when the chandelier at the theatre where he's performing tore loose from the ceiling. The plummeting lamp sent chunks of plaster raining down onto the audience, injuring 15 people.

The ornate chandelier at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, dropped four feet before a safety rope arrested its fall. Former Beverly Hills 90210 star Luke immediately leapt from the stage to help evacuate the disconcerted theatre-goers, who had been enjoying the final minutes of his performance opposite fellow American Alyson Hannigan in When Harry Met Sally.

"I saw Luke standing about three or four rows from the front," reported one eyewitness later. "He was obviously quite concerned to get members of the audience out, as were the rest of the cast. He was very gallant. It was a great performance and it's a shame it had to end this way."

"We just saw this thing falling on us and ran," said another theatre-goer. "There was a lot of confusion."

The 18th-century theatre, which is famously well-maintained and underwent a 1.3 million facelift just ten years ago, has closed temporarily for an investigation but is expected to re-open Wednesday.


Luke, formerly of Beverly Hills 90210 fame, helped usher audience members out of the building
Photo: Alphapress.com
Click on the photos to enlarge

The chandelier dropped several feet before a safety rope arrested its fall. Fifteen audience members were treated for minor injuries and shock
Photo: PA

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