‘So unsafe’ Performers and audience members react to Just Stop Oil protest at Les Mis

West End performers and audience members have reacted to the Just Stop Oil protest at a performance of Les Misérables this week.

Wednesday night’s performance of the musical was disrupted by protestors, who stormed the stage halfway through the show.

In a statement, Just Stop Oil said their supporters locked themselves to the set using flexible bicycle locks, which forced an end to the performance and an evacuation of the theatre.

Just Stop Oil protestors on stage

Delfont Mackintosh Theatres said: “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.”

After footage of the stunt was shared on social media, a number of theatre performers and audience members offered their views on the protest.

Guys & Dolls star Marisha Wallace commented: “This is actually insane and so unsafe for everyone on the stage. There must be a better way.”

While current Jersey Boys cast member Danny Knott wrote on X: “This is not peaceful protest. @JustStop_Oil should be ashamed of this, not a single thought for the safety of others.”

Many reacting online sympathised with audiences in the theatre, with one writing: “Imagine saving for months, making an overnight trip to London specifically to see Les Mis, a masterpiece that is a bucket list show for many people, only to have it ruined by protesters”

However, there was some support of Just Stop Oil’s actions, with a number pointing out the revolutionary themes of the show: “This actually awesome, considering what the musical is about, the audience should be cheering not booing.”

Another posted: “That supposedly open minded theatre lovers would be shouting ‘get a job’ etc at protestors trying to save the planet. Because their precious musical was being delayed. Bravo Just Stop Oil”.

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.


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