4 FEBRUARY 1865, Page 1

The Surrey Theatre was burnt on Monday night, just before

the end of the pantomime. It would appear that the carpenter's shop, which is over the great chandelier, took fire, the " flies " followed,

and in less than half an hour the whole building was gutted. Fortunately the audience was thin, the actors and employes exerted themselves to the utmost to save the ballet, girls, and ehildrea in- troduced in the pantomime, and not a single life was lost. Strange to say, it is not ,certain-whether the safety of the audience was owing to accident or common sense and courage. According- to one account the stage-manager made quite a speech while the -fire was burning, and the people impressed by his arguments strolled leisurely away ; according to another, they rushed out in such haste that only their small numbers prevented a catastrophe. The penny-a-liners are getting as inaccurate as historians. It is sug- gested that the green curtain should be made of iron, and so act as a-wall between stage and audience, but that device does not pro- vide for a gas explosion, and would be often found inconvenient. The best precaution is plenty of doors with leaves swinging both ways, and ample room in the passages.