WhatsOnStage Logo
Home link

Edinburgh Playhouse issues statement after 'very small minority' of audience members cause disruption

Two incidents in recent weeks have sparked a statement

Edinburgh Playhouse
© Enric, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Edinburgh Playhouse's theatre director Colin Marr has issued a statement regarding audience etiquette and behaviour.

Marr has posted the message on the Playhouse's official social media channels following a series of interactions experienced by Playhouse staff in recent weeks – with a "small number" of patrons said to have caused disruption, including punching and spitting on a front of house staff member.

This latest message follows another post from the organisation a few weeks back following a disrupted performance of Jersey Boys.

At the time the theatre said: "We politely ask [our customers] that you show consideration to your fellow audience members and to our staff.

"We all have a part to play in making sure the theatre is a fantastic experience for everyone - you can help by ensuring the professionals on stage are the only people entertaining us with their performances, and by being kind to our dedicated staff who are here to make sure everybody is safe.

"Anti-social behaviour, physical or verbal abuse towards our staff or other customers will not be tolerated and will result in the customer being asked to leave."

Marr has said that anyone threatening or being aggressive towards staff would be permanently banned not only from the Playhouse, but from all ATG venues.

Marr's statement from today is as follows:

"Enough is enough!

"I am disgusted and angry with the unacceptable audience behaviour that my team has had to endure in recent weeks. They have been verbally and physically assaulted by a small number of audience members while trying to do their job. Two weeks ago one of my staff was punched. This week one of them was pushed and spat on. This is becoming far too regular an occurrence – not just in our theatre but in venues across the UK.

"There is a very small minority of people who come to our theatre and choose to sing, dance and talk throughout the show in a manner that disturbs others. They either don't know, or don't care, how much this spoils their fellow audience members' experience. When one of my team asks them politely to stop they become verbally abusive and, in some cases, physical. This is not acceptable.

"I am asking that when you come to our venue that you are considerate towards your fellow audience members and our members of staff so that we can all enjoy the wonderful entertainment on the stage. Please be in no doubt that if you are abusive towards our staff you will be asked to leave, and if you are threatening, intimidating or physically abusive we will call the police and you will be banned from our theatre and all ATG Venues."