Just Stop Oil protesters disrupt performance of Les Miserables in London

Five apprehended after climate change protesters storm the stage in Les Miserables production

Just Stop Oil protesters halt Les Miserables performance

Just Stop Oil protesters halt Les Miserables performance
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Climate change protesters interrupted the West End show Les Miserables in London on Wednesday night, storming the stage and forcing the performance to end early.

Members of Just Stop Oil entered the stage at the Sondheim Theatre during the song Do You Hear The People Sing at around 8.50pm.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, the group wrote: “4 people are locked to the stage of the French-revolution-themed show.

“Valjean steals bread to feed a starving child. How long before we are all forced to steal?”

Footage of the incident shared online by the group shows the cast continuing the show as the protesters take to the stage. After the performance is halted, another member of the group moves to the centre brandishing a Just Stop Oil flag.

Audience members can be heard booing and telling the activists to “get off” before the cast is ushered off and the curtain is brought down, leaving the protesters standing on the stage.

Just Stop Oil said that the performance was stopped and the theatre was evacuated by 9.10pm.

Police said that five people were detained at the theatre.

In a post on X, the force said: “At about 9pm tonight, police were called to a protest inside a theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, WC1.

“Local officers were quickly on scene and five people have been arrested.”

William Village, chief executive of Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, which owns the Sondheim, said: “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.”

Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Police revealed it had spent £3.5 million ($4.3 million) monitoring the group's protests in just one month, on top of £7.5 million dealing with Just Stop Oil action between October and December last year.

Updated: October 05, 2023, 10:52 AM