Blackout caused by rat hits Adelaide ballet and dance performances


July 12, 2018 08:54:06

A rat has caused balletgoers to scurry to the doors during a performance of The Sleeping Beauty.

The Australian Ballet performance at Adelaide’s Festival Theatre came to a halt last night when the lights went out.

An Australian Dance Theatre production of The Beginning of Nature at the Dunstan Playhouse was also halted because of the blackout.

SA Power Networks acting corporate affairs manager Rani Yorkston said power was cut to Adelaide’s Riverbank precinct as well as Hindley Street about 9:30pm.

“[Crews] found a rat had crawled in one of our 11,000 volt [pieces of] equipment and had blown a fuse,” Ms Yorkston said.

The blackout occurred during the ballet’s second interval and nine minutes before the end of the Australian Dance Theatre’s show.

Patrons were evacuated after realising the darkness was not part of the production.

Adelaide Festival Centre programming director Liz Hawkins said the situation was “unprecedented” but audience members were understanding.

“In my nine years in the role it has never happened,” Ms Hawkins said.

“We’ve never had a situation like this before.”

Ms Hawkins said patrons would receive a text message today about whether they would get a refund or other compensation, however there would not be an additional performance of The Sleeping Beauty, which closes today.

Adelaide City Councillor Natasha Malani was at the ballet.

She said the director “made light of the situation” and summed up the rest of the show: “Boy meets girl and they all end up happily ever after.”

“There was a big laugh from the audience at that point but we did get to see the magical kiss where the prince kisses the princess and she wakes up,” Ms Malani said.

Power was restored to Hindley Street and the Adelaide Convention Centre about 10:00pm and the Festival Centre precinct about 11:30pm.