Five arrested after Just Stop Oil eco-protesters halt Les Miserables West End show

4 October 2023, 22:38 | Updated: 4 October 2023, 23:30

Just Stop Oil interrupted a performance of Les Mis
Just Stop Oil interrupted a performance of Les Mis. Picture: Just Stop Oil

By Emma Soteriou

Five people have been arrested after eco-protesters caused chaos during a Les Miserables performance in the West End.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Footage shared online showed several members of Just Stop Oil storm the stage during the song One Day More, where an actor waves the famous red flag.

Protesters appeared holding banners reading Just Stop Oil and wearing tops saying The Show Can't Go On.

The crowd could be heard booing as one member of the group addressed the theatre.

One person could be heard shouting: "Get off you stupid people. How dare you." 

Another said: "You naughty people, you naughty people."

Read more: Rishi's on the wrong track: David Cameron and George Osborne slam decision to scrap HS2 northern leg

Read more: Customers risk ‘getting hurt’ if they tackle shoplifters, warns Tesco boss in push back against call for citizen's arrests

The safety curtain was brought down on the stage and the Sondheim Theatre later had to be evacuated due to the eco-zealots locking themselves to the set.

Community worker Hannah Taylor, 23, who was one of protesters, 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?"

She added: "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.

"Rishi Sunak has just approved Rosebank, a new oil project in the north sea which will produce as much carbon as the annual emissions of the 28 lowest-income countries combined.

"It will lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths due to starvation as crops fail in the increasingly extreme weather conditions.

"Am I not, like Jean Valjean, justified in breaking the law to oppose this criminal government and its murderous policies? Ask yourself, will you, like the citizens of Paris in the play, stand by and watch, or will you stand up against our governments' criminal plans and call for an end to new oil and gas?"

The Metropolitan Police said: "At about 21:00hrs on Wednesday, 4 October, 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."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden

Jill Biden breaks silence with short emotional tribute to husband Joe after he drops out of Presidential race

Starmer praises Joe Biden's 'remarkable career' as leaders react to president quitting  2024 US presidential race

Starmer praises Joe Biden's 'remarkable career' as leaders react to president quitting 2024 US presidential race

President Joe Biden has dropped out of the 2024 Presidential Race and has endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris as the Democratic Nominee.

Kamala Harris says she is running for President in first statement since Joe Biden's shock withdrawal

Joe Biden (l) and Kamala Harris (r)

As Joe Biden steps aside who replaces him as the Democrat candidate to take on Trump and what happens now?

Live
President Biden Addresses The Nation From The White House Oval Office

Joe Biden quits 2024 US election LIVE: President Biden backs VP Kamala Harris as Trump hits out at 'unfit' leader

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event yesterday

Donald Trump slams Joe Biden as ‘worst president in history’ and says Kamala Harris will be ‘easier to beat'

Read Joe Biden’s letter in full as he announces he’s dropping out of 2024 presidential race

Read Joe Biden’s letter in full as he announces he’s dropping out of 2024 US presidential race

Biden withdraws from US presidential race

Joe Biden has endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris as Democratic Presidential nominee

Joe Biden quits 2024 US presidential race and endorses Kamala Harris - as Trump labels him 'unfit to serve'

Joe Biden quits 2024 US presidential race and endorses Kamala Harris - as Trump labels him 'unfit to serve'

The 152nd Open - Day Four

American Xander Schauffele crowned The 152nd Open Champion as he finishes -9 to win in Royal Troon

Breaking News

England beat the West Indies by 241 runs in second Test at Trent Bridge

It comes as a TikTok sleuth who joined the hunt for missing teen Jay Slater said he believes the 19-year-old remains trapped in a Tenerife ravine.

Jay Slater's family blast trolls over bogus leads following sightings on the ‘Eurostar’ and ‘watching the Euros’

Four men found dead in car following horror collision with tree

Four men found dead in car following horror collision with tree

The M25 motorway closures are to set to cause travel chaos

Motorway misery: M25, M4 and M1 closures set to disrupt drivers this week – find out if you’re affected

Giovanni Pernice is expecting to be cleared following a misconduct probe, it is understood.

Ex-Strictly pro Giovanni Pernice 'expects to be cleared' amid misconduct allegations

The Prince Albert memorial has been 'considered offensive'

Prince Albert Memorial branded 'offensive' as it reflects 'Victorian view of the world'