ive Simply Cease Oil protesters arrested after a efficiency of Les Miserables in London’s West End was halted stay in custody as police appealed for anybody with footage of the protest to get in contact.
A number of activists “invaded” the stage on the Sondheim Theatre throughout Do You Hear The Individuals Sing?, locking themselves onto it with versatile bicycle locks.
The efficiency didn’t resume and the Metropolitan Police later confirmed 5 folks aged 28, 23, 22, 19 and 18 have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass.
Viewers members can be provided refunds or tickets for an additional efficiency following the protest on Wednesday.
Catherine Francoise, from Buckinghamshire, was within the viewers with a gaggle of greater than 30 individuals who she organises theatre journeys for.
She stated she has watched Les Miserables greater than 50 occasions and spoke of how she was sitting “within the centre of the entrance row”, claiming that the protesters from Simply Cease Oil have been seated at both finish of the second row.
The skilled singer and organiser at VPA Theatre Journeys instructed the PA information company: “I may see out the nook of my eye one thing taking place on the left, I seen first, and I knew it wasn’t a part of the manufacturing.
“The forged have been nonetheless going, the orchestra was nonetheless taking part in, and after about 15 seconds, any person got here on stage and moved the forged off.
“In the meantime, safety have been on it attempting to get the ladies off that have been on the left hand facet.
“I assumed they’d caught themselves (to the ground), nevertheless it seems they’d truly cable-tied themselves collectively, after which padlocked themselves collectively, after which padlocked that to a part of the surroundings.”
Ms Francoise added that as one of many protesters walked as much as the stage carrying a banner, a member of her occasion who was sitting on the finish of the primary row “grabbed the banner and threw it off”.
She defined that first, the forged members have been faraway from the stage, shortly adopted by the orchestra, with the viewers being requested to go away round quarter-hour later.
“The viewers have been undoubtedly making far, much more noise than the protesters,” she stated.
“In a while after we have been evacuated out, there was a younger woman, she was about 12 or 13, and he or she was crying.
“The adults have been simply livid, however the youthful folks may’ve been shocked or a bit frightened about what was taking place.”
She added: “(We have been) upset, actually, actually upset.
“All people was gutted final night time.”
In a video of the incident, viewers members will be heard booing the demonstrators.
In a put up on X, previously often known as Twitter, Simply Cease Oil wrote: “4 individuals are locked to the stage of the French-revolution-themed present.
“Valjean steals bread to feed a ravenous little one. How lengthy earlier than we’re all pressured to steal?”
The protest group revealed that Hannah Taylor, 23, and Poppy Bliss, 19, have been among the many demonstrators because it branded the Authorities’s rolling again of web zero targets and approval for brand spanking new oil and fuel licences “genocidal”.
Ms Taylor, who’s a group employee, stated: “The present begins with Jean Valjean stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s ravenous little one. How lengthy earlier than we’re all pressured to steal loaves of bread? How lengthy earlier than there are riots on the streets? The present can not go on.
“Am I not, like Jean Valjean, justified in breaking the legislation to oppose this prison Government and its murderous insurance policies?”
Ms Bliss, who’s a pupil, stated: “I’m taking motion with Simply Cease Oil as a result of I’m completely terrified for my future. I don’t wish to be disrupting folks’s evenings out, however I’ve been left with no different selection.
“Our Authorities is betraying the younger and placing everybody’s futures on the road for the sake of some votes. I’m doing this as a result of I’m determined.
“We’re frighteningly near shedding every little thing we love. All the pieces we all know can be destroyed by local weather collapse.”
Detective Inspector Chris Rudd of the Met’s Public Order Command stated: “Lots of these within the viewers can have travelled vital distances, having bought tickets months upfront, and it’s unacceptable that demonstrators have focused a particular group of individuals with the intention to damage what ought to have been a particular night time out.
“We’re conscious of footage circulating on social media, however ask anybody with extra footage to get in contact as this may assist us deliver these accountable to account.”
William Village, chief government of Delfont Waterproof coat Theatres – which owns the Sondheim, stated: “Through the first half of our efficiency of Les Miserables, people from Simply Cease Oil invaded the stage, abruptly stopping the present.
“Following our security protocols, the viewers have been requested to go away the auditorium and the Met Police attended.
“Regrettably, there was inadequate time to allow us to finish the remainder of the efficiency.
“While we recognise the significance of free expression, we should additionally respect our viewers’s proper to benefit from the occasion for which they’ve paid.”
On Thursday, the Les Miserables firm introduced a reserving extension from March 2 to September 28 2024.
Police urge anybody with footage to contact them on 101, on-line or by tweeting Tweet ‘X’ @MetCC quoting 2074/5OCT.