A top show at Blackpool Opera House was dramatically halted after an actor suffered a suspected broken leg when he was hit by a piece of falling scenery.
Theatre-goers at last night’s performance of Scrooge say they initially thought the incident was part of the act.
But they were alerted to its seriousness after a stage manager ran on mid-song to stop the show.
The curtain was brought down as paramedics were called to treat the male cast member.
It was initially hoped the musical – which stars stage legend Tommy Steele – could continue.
But minutes later theatre bosses informed the audience the show had to be cancelled and the injured man, who has not been named, was taken to hospital.
It happened at around 8.45pm as the second half of the show started.
The scenery – the wall and door of a house – fell during a song.
Sharon Rogers, from Gorse Road, near Stanley Park, was watching the show with her 14-year-old daughter Jessica.
She said: “I was shocked. I think people just thought it was part of the performance.
“It was only when one of the stage managers came on we realised it wasn’t.
“They said the gentleman was injured and paramedics were on their way.”
The audience were initially told there would be a five to 20 minute interval while the man was treated, but 10 minutes later they were told the show had been cancelled and it was suspected the actor had broken a leg.
Sharon added: “When they first knew it would be 20 minutes people got up to stretch their legs and go to the toilet.
“After the second announcement they were a bit more shocked.”
Jessica said: “It was in the second act when the furniture fell on one of the cast, and then they picked it up and pulled the curtain down.
“They said it would be 20 minutes but then they came out and said it would be cancelled, and he might have broken his leg.”
The scenery involved in the incident had been brought into the Opera House as part of the touring show.
Opera House boss Michael Williams said: “It happened at the start of the second half.
“A piece of one of the mobile sets has fallen over and hit an actor. We pulled the curtain across and there was an announcement.
“Paramedics attended and gave him treatment on stage. The decision was then made to cancel the performance.
“It is unfortunate that this accident has happened and we have every sympathy for the affected actor.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to any of our patrons.”
Mr Williams said the audience left the theatre calmly when the announcement was made.
Audience members have been asked to return to the theatre today and will be offered tickets to another performance.
The show, which has been staged at the London Palladium, stars Steele as Ebenezer Scrooge.
There are three more shows remaining in the Opera House run.