A brief power cut in the Waterloo area on Tuesday night failed to dampen spirits at the Old Vic for the first night of Trevor Nunn's production of Richard II, with Kevin Spacey in the title role.
"There were a tense few moments towards the end of the first act when the power went down in the entire surrounding area," an Old Vic spokesperson told the London SE1 website Luckily power was restored during the interval and the second half went without a hitch."
EDF Energy (formerly London Electricity) told us: "A fault on an underground cable briefly interrupted power supplies to customers in The Cut area of London shortly after 8pm last night. Engineers restored supplies within three minutes via alternative circuits. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by this interruption to service."
The power failure is alluded to in many newspaper reviews. In The Times, Benedict Nightingale wrote: "Last night a power surge in SE1 upset the stage lighting a caused a delay: it did nothing to detract from the power source called Spacey. The Guardian's Michael Billington opined that "Whatever the odd technical glitch, there was a good deal more electricity on stage than at any time in Kevin Spacey's low-voltage first season..."
Michael Coveney in The Independent added: "Last night was further enlivened by an electricity surge resulting from an area-wide power failure that gave the impression of instant Brechtianism, with working lights and follow spots making up the design shortfall. The elegant stage manager in a beige suit and clipboard who spoke to us either side of the interval was a perfect example of the New Labour (feminine) pragmatism at the court of King Richard."
Spacey, the Old Vic's artistic director, recently announced his next season.
• Richard II: our review
• Book now to see Richard II
• The Old Vic is offering Lambeth and Southwark residents the chance to see Richard II for just £5. Tickets are available every Wednesday – for both 2.30pm and 7.30pm performances – from The Old Vic box office, in person only, together with proof of address (utility bill, bank statement, driving licence).