Scores of people have been evacuated from a central London theatre following a “security alert”.
Police confirmed that the Old Vic, near Waterloo station, was evacuated on Saturday afternoon, with people also told to leave nearby pubs and restaurants.
Pictures have emerged on social media of people leaving the theatre and a police cordon blocking nearby roads.
Star Wars actor John Boyega is playing the leading role in play Woyzeck at the theatre.
One visiter to the theatre told the Standard he had heard from officers that the play was evacuated due to a “bomb scare” following a phone call to staff.
A Met Police spokeswoman said: “Police were called at 14:38pm on Saturday, May 27, to The Cut, Waterloo, to a report of a security alert at a theatre.
“The theatre took the decision to evacuate the building.
“Road closures have been put in place.
People have reported being sent to nearby Imperial War Museum gardens alongside the play’s cast while the building is being searched.
Liam Joseph, 21, was in the crowds when he saw two production managers come to stop the play.
He told the Standard: “I think I was one step ahead and I started to panic when I saw them come onto the stage.”
He added: “You start looking at the emergency exits and start planning things yourself.
“I spotted flashlights to my front and to my right and thought this can’t be good. I saw that and thought – okay, something’s happening.”
He said the cast calmly left the stage and followed the theatre-goers out to the Imperial War Museum, praising staff for their “brilliant” reaction to the treat.
Theatregoers have reportedly been told the play may restart after the building is thoroughly searched by officers.
He went on: “I’m with my girlfriend and we’re not not too keen on going back actually.”
The Old Vic theatre tweeted: “We have been evacuated as a precaution; audience safety is our priority. We are liaising with the Met Police.”
This follows an earlier incident in the West Midlands where a police where called to a supermarket in Birmingham. The scene was later declared not related to a terror alert as first thought.
The whole of the United Kindom was at its highest level ‘critical ‘ following the calis attack in Manchester where 22 people died, however, earlier today this was downgraded to ‘severe’.