Ms. Wirral witnesses musical chaos when The Bodyguard ends prematurely
Witnesses said the pair were “forced from their seats” during a performance at Manchester’s Palace Theater and accosted by police officers who were present.
The final ten minutes of the musical, starring former Pussycat Doll Melody Thornton, was canceled on Friday night after some viewers refused to sit and sing out loud.
The theater had asked people not to sing during the show, which is based on the 1992 film of the same name starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.
Tash Kenyon, a 27-year-old payroll clerk from Wirral, told the PA news agency that she and her mother, Jan Kenyon, a nurse, found the show on Jan’s 65th “incredibly difficult to miss”.
Tash said: “Before the performance, the stewards walked up and down the aisles with signs that said ‘Please don’t sing along’ – they were incredibly difficult to miss. Two announcements were also made, stating “please don’t sing” and that the audience would have an opportunity to join in the finals.
“The show was interrupted after about 20 minutes while some guests were singing. The guests were removed and the show went on. The show had about 10 minutes left before the main cast began performing I Will Always Love You.
“Someone shouted, ‘Does that mean we can start singing now?’ which got the audience laughing, and then the singing started over the lead’s singing.
“The show ended a minute later, the lights came on and I couldn’t see anything from my seat but I could hear the commotion from the second row seats and people looked up in shock.
“I’m pretty sure some women were forcibly removed. We had to take the train home so we decided to just leave and when we got to the foyer we were told the show had been canceled and everyone had to leave anyway.
“There was already a police car outside, then two more appeared, one nearly hit me and my mother trying to cross the street.”
A 60-year-old bystander told PA that after shouting ‘can we sing now’, ‘security stepped in and a scuffle broke out and the police were called – a police van and two police cars’.
Audience member Karl Bradley told BBC Radio Manchester that before the finale of ‘I Will Always Love You’ some theatergoers had started a countdown and ‘started projecting themselves’, joining in the chanting and attempting the notoriously high notes of the song, resulting in “Chaos”.
Greater Manchester Police confirmed they had spoken to two viewers after receiving reports of “a disturbance” at the theatre.
The force added: “Two people removed from security personnel have been approached by police and a decision on further action will be taken once the evidence has been reviewed.”
A spokesman for the theater confirmed that despite the disruption on Friday, scheduled performances of the show will go ahead as usual through April 15.
They said: “We are disappointed that the last 10 minutes of the show had to be canceled due to disruptive customers refusing to remain seated and spoiling the performance for others.”
Thornton, 38, plays Rachel Marron in the touring theatrical production, which follows bodyguard-turned Secret Service agent Frank Farmer, who is hired to protect superstar Rachel from an unknown stalker.
In a video posted to her Instagram story about the hiatus, Thornton thanked fans for attending the show and apologized for the hiatus and untimely ending.
She added, “I know people just wanted to see a really nice show. Thank you to everyone who was respectful to the artists and I’m very sorry for those who weren’t. I hope to see you soon. That’s it. Thank you love you.”