Andrew Scott halted Hamlet performance after theatregoer pulled out a laptop

Andrew Scott in Hamlet in 2017

Andrew Scott, acclaimed for his role as the “hot priest” in Fleabag, made an unexpected intermission during his performance of Hamlet’s famous soliloquy at London’s Almeida theatre in 2017.

The interruption was caused by an audience member who decided to use a laptop during the show. This incident occurred during the production that earned Scott an Olivier nomination.

While appearing on the Happy Sad Confused film podcast, Scott shared that he was unable to proceed with the “To be or not to be” soliloquy when he noticed the audience member. He stated, “When I was playing Hamlet, a guy took out his laptop – not his phone, his laptop – while I was in the middle of ‘To be or not to f**king be’.”

Scott paused the performance, refusing to continue until the laptop was put away.

He continued: “I was pausing and [the stage managers] were like, ‘Get on with it’ and I was like, ‘There’s no way.’ I stopped for ages.”

A woman seated next to the individual eventually made him aware of the disruption, leading to him ceasing his activity.

Scott, who discussed the incident while promoting his film All of Us Strangers, is not the only performer to face issues with theatre etiquette.

In April last year, police intervention was necessary at a Manchester performance of The Bodyguard musical due to violent reactions from an audience member who was being quieted for singing loudly.

Meanwhile Six The Musical recently issued a statement about audience members with their phones out.

They wrote on social media: “To help keep the royal vibes alive at all performances of SIX, please remember that the taking of photographs, video or audio recordings are strictly prohibited until the MegaSIX at the end of the show.

“Filming other songs and moments from the performance disrespects other audience members and spoils it for audiences yet to experience SIX. It Is also distracting to our Queens and Band who are trying to deliver the best possible LIVE performance for your enjoyment. Thank You Queendom!”

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.