Lightning has struck twice for an unfortunate theatre company which has been targeted by thieves both times it has visited Croydon.

A prop handbag containing a fake gun was snatched when Unexpected Opera came to the Warehouse Theatre last year, sparking fears it could be used by criminals in future hold-ups.

The company was targeted a second time during a performance of Orpheus Down Under on April 17, with thieves making off with more than £100 and a cluster of Blackberry mobile phones.

A haul of Russian Roubles was also stolen from the purse of a soprano who had just returned from a trip to Moscow.

Company spokesman Matthew Quirk said despite the theft, the women targeted ensured the show went on.

He said: “They were amazingly professional and kept smiling to the end of the show, before rushing to cancel their credit cards and the like.

“Croydon isn’t a lucky venue for us. We have toured all over the country and played more than 80 dates and the only thefts we have had is here.

“It’s such a shame because the audiences in Croydon are so good and we love playing here.”

Mr Quirk said the show’s cast only appear all together on stage for one brief scene, meaning the thief would only have had a small window in which to strike.

He said: “We have now brought in a dressing room guard who will remain with the valuables while the actors are on stage doing what they do best.”

The show runs until Sunday, May 2nd, nightly at 8pm (not Mondays), Tuesdays at 6.30pm and Sunday at 5pm.