The Bodyguard musical in Manchester disrupted by audience members with police called

A performance of The Bodyguard musical in Manchester was cancelled and police were called after audience members disrupted the show.

Friday’s (7 April) evening performance was cut short by the theatre, with some at the Palace Theatre describing a “mini riot”.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said (via The Stage): “Officers were called to the Palace Theatre last night (7 April 2023) after staff reported a number of people in the audience causing a disturbance.”

Those in the audience took to social media to describe the scenes.

One wrote: “Seen a lot of reports about bad behaviour at the theatre lately, and wondered if they were a bit overblown. Anyway, at the Palace tonight and they had to stop the show during the first act to eject disruptive audience members.

“They’ve had to stop the show AGAIN during the finale because of people shouting out, screaming and being incredibly disruptive. Just unbelievably disrespectful to the actors. And they’re refusing to leave. This is horrendous. Never seen anything like it.”

They added: “They decided not to finish the performance because of the disruption. Feel so sorry for the whole cast. Respect to all the staff at the Manchester Palace for trying to deal with an incredibly difficult situation. Three police vehicles outside the theatre. Awful.”

National Lottery's Big Night of Musicals: Melody Thornton from The Bodyguard The Musical performs End of I Will Always Love You.
National Lottery’s Big Night of Musicals: Melody Thornton from The Bodyguard The Musical performs End of I Will Always Love You. Credit: BBC/TBI Media/Bellanova Photography

Another added: “Cannot believe what I’ve just witnessed at the palace theatre watching the Bodyguard. A mini riot after the show was stopped because audience members were trying to sing over the cast. Police riot vans been called in. Chaos.”

Cast member Ayden Callaghan tweeted: “Theatre pulled the show at the end tonight because of disgusting behaviour. We wanted to carry on but it had become a major incident.

“I’m really sorry to what was 99.9% a brilliant audience that a few badly behaved individuals ruined it.”

The incident followed a segment on ITV’s This Morning specifically discussing The Bodyguard in Manchester after the venue had asked audience members to stop singing along.

Presenter Alison Hammond said on the programme: “I can’t believe it. I’d be devastated. I’m not even going to go to that show now.”

While guest Vanessa Feltz added: “Isn’t the whole point of going to a musical that you know that you sing along to all the bits you know and when you don’t know the words you just make them up.

“Isn’t that what everybody does? And very, very loudly while eating an ice cream.”

The comments were met with outrage from the theatre community with Wicked and Come From Away star Alice Fearn tweeting: “I have SO much to say about this I don’t even know where to start! This is so incredibly stupid. Who the hell do they think you are?! I am incredibly disappointed with all of the presenters here”

The Bodyguard continues to play at Manchester’s Palace Theatre through to 15 April.

About the author: Jessica White

Recent University graduate Jessica is the newest writer for Stageberry. She's over the moon to be sharing her theatre knowledge and passion for musicals with the online world.


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