Stage actors blast “ignorant” and “disrespectful” audience members watching World Cup during performance

They cheered when the goals went in...

TOPSHOT - England's players celebrate winning the penalty shootout at the end of the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between Colombia and England at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on July 3, 2018. (Photo by YURI CORTEZ / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS        (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Stage actors have complained after a musical in Nottingham, which was staged during England’s last 16 tie against Colombia on Tuesday, was rudely interrupted by audience members watching the penalty shootout on their phones.

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Niall Sheehy, a performer in Nottingham Theatre Royal’s Titanic The Musical, tweeted that the women had “not only followed the penalty shootout on their phone, but also said ‘yesss’ on each goal scored”.

He continued: “you are the most ignorant audience members I have ever had the misfortune to perform in front of.”

The match in question went to extra time and then penalties after Yerry Mina cancelled out Harry Kane’s opener, and the Three Lions went on to win the shootout.

Sheehy’s colleague, Kieran Brown, also took to Twitter to admonish the theatre-goers.

“2 ladies, 1 older 1 middle aged, slap bang front row clearly watching football on phones during the most poignant moment of lifeboats scene, cheering and giggling like stupid schoolgirls,” he wrote. “To say I’m raging is an understatement! They should be marched out in disgrace!”

The Theatre Royal subsequently released a statement calling the behaviour “disrespectful and distracting”.

“Even if audience members feel that they are being quiet or discreet in checking their phones during a performance, it is both disrespectful and distracting to the actors on stage and to the other people around them.

“Our staff are vigilant in stopping this kind of behaviour, where it is practical to do so without further distracting from the action on stage, but we do also rely on people using courtesy and respect to those around them when they come to see a live theatre performance.”

Saturday’s matinee performance of Titanic The Musical will coincide with England’s quarter-final clash with Sweden – here’s hoping the message has got through to all attendees by then.

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