Town hall evacuated amid Aladdin panto fire alarm drama

The cast of Aladdin outside Great Yarmouth Town Hall

The cast of Aladdin and council staff were evacuated from Great Yarmouth's town hall after dress rehearsal special effects set off smoke detectors. - Credit: Liz Coates

Local authority staff mingled with a cast of pantomime characters outside Great Yarmouth's town hall when a dress rehearsal set off smoke detectors.

Among those evacuated on Monday from the building was council leader Carl Smith who waited while a fire crew gave the all clear and said he saw the funny side.

Producer and director Gavin Dean, who also plays the role of Widow Twanky in Aladdin, said it was the cast's first dress rehearsal ahead of opening night on December 23.

During a scene in which the characters approach a mystical cave a puff of smoke was required, setting off the smoke alarms in the grand Assembly Room meaning the whole building had to be evacuated.

A council spokesman said most staff were working from home and that the authority was working with the panto to amend the performance to avoid setting of the alarms. 

He said: "Around 30 people were evacuated, mostly the panto cast and crew plus a few contractors working on the council chamber refurbishment."

One fire engine from Great Yarmouth attended when the alarm was raised at 12.48pm.

Performances for Aladdin run from December 23 to January 2.

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