Five people have been arrested after Just Stop Oil protesters disrupted a performance of Les Misérables at the Sondheim Theatre in London’s West End.
During a performance of the song Do You Hear the People Sing? members of the Just Stop Oil group stormed the stage with banners. In a video of the protest posted online, the performance came to a halt as one member shouted “just stop oil”, to boos from the audience.
Technical staff quickly came on stage, the safety curtain came down followed by the main curtain. According to a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, the group of four protesters then locked themselves to the stage.
In the post on X, 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?”
Hannah Taylor, of Just Stop Oil, was quoted by Sky News as saying: “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.”
William Village, chief executive of Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, confirmed to WhatsOnStage that the show was stopped and the theatre was evacuated following the protest. Tickets for the performance will be refunded.
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.”