The ArgusAgatha Christie whodunnit gremlins leave Eastbourne audience in the dark (From The Argus)

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Agatha Christie whodunnit gremlins leave Eastbourne audience in the dark

The Argus: Robert Powell and Robin McCallum perform in Black Coffee Robert Powell and Robin McCallum perform in Black Coffee

A performance of Agatha Christie's play Black Coffee had to be abandoned halfway through after lighting gremlins struck the stage last night. 

An electrical fault meant lights down at Eastbourne's Devonshire Park Theatre shortly before the second interval.

Argus reviewer Tony Flood said there was still some emergency lighting on stage which made it resemble an evening scene, and the lights in the rest of the theatre appeared to be working. 

But a Devonshire Park Theatre official said: "We could not continue with the performance as the lighting failure presented a health and safety problem.

"We apologised to the audience and advised them they could have replacement tickets for later in the week or obtain a refund."

Theatre Front of House Manager Natalie Pennington and her team even took to the box office and dealt with a number of ticket swaps on the night.

The cast attended the Friends of the Devonshire Park Theatre reception in the bar following the show as originally planned.

Robert Powell, who played Hercule Poirot, apologised to the audience. He later told Mr. Flood: "It was decided that it wasn't possible to carry on."

He added: "Ironically, when I appeared here 13 years ago there was also a lighting problem."

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