The THROADS Theatre Company's production of Agatha Panthus's Murder on the Style was under threat today after structural engineers discovered serious cracks in the foundation of the Company's home - the Pavilion Theatre, Punknowle. Called to inspect the property after part of the ceiling collapsed, initial findings by engineers from Threadbone International Theatre Specialist (TITS) Ltd suggest that the damage is the result of critical undermining by the roots of a giant agapanthus plant growing in the Theatre's ornamental gardens. Planted in 1885 when the Theatre first opened by founder William Makemoney Threadbackery, the Agapanthus - [æɡəˈpænθəs/ the only genus in the subfamily Agapanthoideae of the flowering plant family Amaryllidaceae] - has been a feature beloved by theatre-going clientele - and a frequent marker for passing ships - ever since.
Chief theatre botanist Flora Spore believes that the looming conflict between nature conservationists and theatre preservationists could be serious. "I believe that that looming conflict between nature conservationists and theatre preservationists could be serious", she said, whilst Theatre Chair Kami-Ron Macaroon added "It's all rather ironic really, as well as tragic of course that these cracks should have appeared during a rather shaky run of the THROAD's production of Agatha Panthus's "Murder on the Style". It's our big summer seller as part of the Agatha Panthus Festival and it brings literally dozens of visitors to the town. So you could say that the plant is undermining more than just the theatre".
Asked "if push came to shove" whether he would choose the preservation of the Theatre over rescue of the plant, Mr Macaroon was highly equivocal: "The theatre every time. Obviously. Without Question. Certainly. A no brainer. So a few planet-earth, global-village, climate-saving tree-huggers would be upset and a few ships might crash on to the rocks with probable loss of life - but the Theatre would continue and the show would go on. It's the first rule of entertainment you know and the byword of the late great Charles Hawtree. He came here in 1984. He was crap but they flocked to see him."