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Moment Bodyguard theatregoer sings ‘I Will Always Love You’ before woman thrown out

Actor playing Kevin Costner’s part apologised for ‘disgusting’ behaviour in crowd

Liam James
Sunday 09 April 2023 08:26 BST
Melody Thornton comments after The Bodyguard musical shut down

Footage has emerged of an audience member singing along during a performance of The Bodyguard, shortly before the show was cut short by what cast members called “disgusting” and “disruptive” behaviour.

Police were called to the Palace Theatre in Manchester on Friday (7 April) when the musical starring Pussycat Dolls singer Melody Thornton had to be stopped twice due to a rowdy crowd shouting and singing.

In a video posted online shortly after the performance’s scheduled end, a woman can be heard singing along to closing number “I Will Always Love You”.

Another video shows security guards grappling with a fan in the crowd. A third clip shows large parts of the audience applauding during what appears to be the altercation with security.

Audience member Karl Bradley, who posted clips of the incident to his Twitter account, said: “I’m new to the world of theatre. But sad and disappointed tonight at the state of some people’s arrogance and disrespect while at a show.”

Photos of police riot vans outside the venue after the show were also shared online.

The performance ultimately did not continue and cast members apologised, blaming “disgusting” audience behaviour.

Thornton, in a video posted to her Instagram Story, said: “I wanted to send a really special message to people in Manchester who came to the show tonight, to say thank you so much.

“I respect that you paid your money and I am so grateful to everyone who respects the people on stage who want to give you a beautiful show.”

She continued: “For everything that happened tonight, I can’t say, I don’t have all of the details. I just am very, very sorry that we couldn’t finish the show. I fought really hard. It feels awful and I just hope that we see you again… I thank everyone who was respectful of the performers and [feel] very, very sorry for those who weren’t.”

The show’s male lead Ayden Callaghan, who plays Kevin Costner’s role of Frank Farmer, tweeted: “Theatre pulled the show at the end tonight because of disgusting behaviour.

Police outside the Palace Theatre in Manchester after some members of the audience refused to remain seated and refrain from loudly singing (PA)

“We wanted to carry on but it had become a major incident. I’m really sorry to what was 99.9 per cent a brilliant audience that a few badly behaved individuals ruined it.”

A spokesperson for the Palace Theatre told The Independent: “The performance of The Bodyguard at The Palace Theatre, Manchester was stopped at 9.40pm last night and not continued. We are disappointed that the last 10 minutes of the show needed to be cancelled due to disruptive customers refusing to stay seated and spoiling the performance for others.

“We are grateful to our venue teams for dealing with these difficult circumstances in a professional and calm way, and to Greater Manchester police for their assistance. Future performances will continue as planned and we ask that customers are considerate towards the cast, fellow audience members and theatre team so that everyone can enjoy the wonderful entertainment on stage.”

Earlier in the run of The Bodyguard tour, the King’s Theatre in Glasgow shared a message on social media asking audiences to “be kind” and “show consideration” when watching the show.

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