Theatre boss issues warning after staff 'punched and spat on'

Edinburgh Playhouse theatre director, Colin Marr, made a statement on social media about 'unacceptable behaviour'.

A theatre boss has hit out at “abusive” audience members after he claimed members of staff have been punched, pushed and spat on.

Edinburgh Playhouse theatre director, Colin Marr, made a statement on social media about “unacceptable behaviour” which is “becoming far too regular an occurrence”.

He claimed that two weeks ago, a staff member at the theatre was punched by an audience member, and this week one was pushed and spat on.

In a statement posted to the Edinburgh Playhouse’s Twitter account, he wrote: “Enough is enough!

“I am disgusted and angry with the unacceptable audience behaviour that my team has had to endure in recent weeks.

“They have been verbally and physically assaulted by a small number of audience members while trying to do their job. Two weeks ago one of my staff was punched. This week one of them was pushed and spat on.

“This is becoming far too regular an occurrence – not just in our theatre but in venues across the UK.”

The director added that there was a “very small minority of people” who visit the theatre and choose to sing, dance, and talk throughout the show, disturbing others.

Mr Marr added: “When one of my team asks them politely to stop they become verbally abusive and, in some cases, physical. This is not acceptable.”

He made a plea to audience members to be “considerate” towards other guests and members of staff during their visit and warned: “Please be in no doubt that if you are abusive towards our staff you will be asked to leave, and if you are threatening, intimidating or physically abusive we will call the police and you will be banned from our theatre and all ATG Venues.”

It comes after an incident last week in which a sold-out production of West End musical The Jersey Boys was halted after fights broke out among the audience.

Over the weekend, the King’s Theatre in Glasgow issued a strongly-worded statement on social media in a bid to crackdown on anti-social behaviour during performances.