West End stars want increased security at stage doors

Melanie La Barrie in Hadestown
Melanie La Barrie in Hadestown. Credit: Marc Brenner

West End performers are urging theatres to adopt stricter security measures akin to those on Broadway to safeguard actors from uncomfortable fan interactions.

Prominent actors such as Melanie La Barrie from Hadestown and Joel Montague of Hamilton have reported a rise in “uncomfortable” incidents with audience members, prompting a call for action.

It follows La Barrie saying she would stop stage-dooring after being grabbed by fans.

“I know that nobody’s being malicious. I know that the fans are just being enthusiastic and that some of them have come from abroad to see the show, or see me specifically,” La Barrie stated in an interview with The Stage.

She added: “The thing that I want forever and ever is for musical theatre fans to always have that kind of enthusiasm. But I was starting to get uncomfortable with how the interactions were starting to go.”

Meanwhile Montague told the publication that stage-door etiquette “and theatre etiquette in general, needs to change”.

“I think theatre owners and theatre managers need to be a lot more strict. We shouldn’t be waiting for something bad to happen so we can clamp down on the rules,” he added.

The issue has resonated across the West End, with other actors sharing their own distressing experiences on social.

READ MORE: > Your theatre ticket doesn’t include a free meet-and-greet

Steven Webb of The Book of Mormon recounted being “grabbed, followed and kissed without consent,” urging fans to respect boundaries, stating, “The [ticket] is for the show only.”

Layton Williams (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) and Carl Man (Wicked) have also voiced their support for the introduction of barriers, with Man suggesting that London should emulate Broadway’s approach where barriers allow performers to interact with fans safely.

About the author: Rachel Wise

UK based freelancer journalist Rachel contributes regularly to Stageberry with features and interviews from the hottest new shows and stage stars.


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