PART of a theatre wall curtailed the maiden voyage of Titanic the Musical at the Mayflower last night, crumbling down onto actors on stage.

On its opening night, performers were halfway through the evening when plaster from a backstage wall crumbled on stage.

Theatre-goers were left wondering what was happening when the safety curtain was pulled down and the chief executive explaining that no-one was in danger.

A statement from the theatre said: "A small piece of plaster from the wall backstage fell onto the stage. With the safety of the cast in mind, we made the sensible decision to cancel the second act of the show.

"We want to clarify the fact that this is not a structural issue, but there are some remedial works that are taking place this morning."

Tonight's performance is 'fully expected' to go ahead, despite the issue with the backstage wall.

Theatre-goers said they saw plaster strewn across the stage, and despite initially wondering whether it was part of the act, praised the theatre's handling of the issue.

Anita De Kerckhove was enjoying the performance, celebrating her step father's birthday, when pieces of the wall came down.

She said: "To start with, you're never sure if it is part of the performance.

"I thought it would be tied into the show. Are the lifeboats going to be lowered? They shouted to clear the stage from the wings and even then you're thinking is it part of it?

"The chief executive came on stage and reassured everyone and they did a fantastic job. It's a real shame for the theatre, perhaps they will start their refurbishment work a little earlier now!"

The show is at the theatre until April 21.