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05 October 2023

Just Stop Oil protesters disrupt West End performance of Les Miserables

05 October 2023

Just Stop Oil protesters halted a performance of Les Miserables at the Sondheim Theatre in London’s West End on Wednesday night.

The protesters entered the stage during a performance of Do You Hear The People Sing?

Just Stop Oil said that four protesters then locked themselves to the stage using flexible bicycle locks at around 8.50pm. The show did not resume.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, the group wrote: “4 people are locked to the stage of the French-revolution-themed show.

“Valjean steals bread to feed a starving child. How long before we are all forced to steal?”

In video of the incident, audience members can be heard booing the demonstrators.

Just Stop Oil said that the performance was stopped and the theatre was evacuated by 9.10pm.

The Metropolitan Police said that five people were arrested at the theatre.

In a post on X, the force said: “At about 9pm tonight, police were called to a protest inside a theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, WC1.

“Local officers were quickly on scene and five people have been arrested.”

William Village, chief executive of Delfont Mackintosh Theatres – which owns the Sondheim, said: “During the first half of our performance of Les Miserables, individuals from Just Stop Oil invaded the stage, abruptly stopping the show.

“Following our safety protocols, the audience were asked to leave the auditorium and the Met Police attended.

“Regrettably, there was insufficient time to enable us to complete the rest of the performance.

“Whilst we recognise the importance of free expression, we must also respect our audience’s right to enjoy the event for which they have paid.”

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