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    RADIO ROXI TIMELESS TUNES

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Just Stop Oil protesters storm stage at Les Miserables show in London’s West End | Ents & Arts News

today04/10/2023

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Just Stop Oil protesters have halted a West End performance of Les Miserables after invading the stage.

During the song One Day More, members of the group stormed the stage with banners emblazoned with Just Stop Oil.

Footage showed the actors on stage continue to perform the song briefly before stepping back, with the safety curtain then coming down.

Some members of the audience booed and shouted at the protesters, while a member of Just Stop Oil addressed the auditorium.

The activists then locked themselves to the set, prompting the Sondheim Theatre to be evacuated.

A Just Stop Oil protester on stage during a performance of Les Miserables. Pic: Just Stop Oil
Image:
Protesters storm the stage. Pic: Just Stop Oil

The Metropolitan Police said five people have been arrested.

William Village, chief executive of Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, told Sky News: “During the first half of our performance of Les Miserables, individuals from Just Stop Oil invaded the stage, abruptly stopping the show.

“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.”

Refunds will be offered to audience members, the theatre group has said.

Just Stop Oil protesters storm the stage at the Sondheim Theatre in the West End. Pic: Just Stop Oil
Image:
Pic: Just Stop Oil

Read more:
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‘We’re being lied to’, says Just Stop Oil activist

Addressing the group’s latest protest, Just Stop Oil member Hannah Taylor said: “The show starts with Jean Valjean stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving child. How long before we are all forced to steal loaves of bread? How long before there are riots on the streets?

“The show cannot go on. We are facing catastrophe. New oil and gas means crop failure, starvation and death. It is an act of war on the global south and an utter betrayal of young people.”

Activists disrupt a performance of Les Miserables. Pic: Just Stop Oil
Image:
Pic: Just Stop Oil

Poppy Bliss, who also took protest action, added she was “absolutely terrified for my future”.

“I don’t want to be disrupting people’s evenings out, but I have been left with no other choice,” she said.

“Our government is betraying the young and putting everyone’s futures on the line for the sake of a few votes.

“I am doing this because I am desperate.”

Videos showed Just Stop Oil members explaining why they took the action, wearing t-shirts saying: “The show can’t go on”.

It is the latest in a string of public protests for Just Stop Oil, which has previously disrupted high-profile sporting events including The Ashes and Wimbledon, as well as carrying out walking protests through the capital during rush hour.

The group was also accused of causing criminal damage by a government minister after spraying the Department for Energy and Net Zero with orange paint.

Last month, Fossil Free London carried out a similar protest at Sadler’s Wells theatre during a performance of a ballet version of Romeo & Juliet, demanding an end to the involvement of Barclays in the production.



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