A LONDON ballet school has been inundated with calls following the immediate closure of a North-East theatre.

High winds which damaged the roof of the Billingham Forum's theatre, on Teesside, forced the cancellation of all 41 spring productions until the end of May.

The English Youth Ballet (EYB) is due to hold auditions at the theatre tomorrow, for an anticipated performance of Coppelia.

The London company has received calls from dancers asking if auditions have also been cancelled.

But general manager Bridget Hearne said the show will go on.

She said: "Since the announcement in The Northern Echo, we have been inundated with calls.

"I would like to put everyone's mind at ease and urge dancers to still turn up at the Forum, where they will be directed to another area of the complex."

Mrs Hearne said that, since the cancellation of production due to damaged cladding panels above the stage, auditions for the ballet have been moved to the function room of the complex.

The EYB is renowned for taking large-scale classical ballet productions to regional theatres across the UK and using local youngsters as the stars of the show.

The planned date for Coppelia on April 17 has been moved to a date after the summer break.

Anyone with bookings for performances due before the end of May can receive a full refund or exchange tickets to rescheduled times.

Ticket holders should contact the box office on (01642) 552663.

Published: 24/01/2005