Star of Sheffield-set musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie tells audiences to stop ‘hissing, booing and heckling’
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Layton Williams, who stars as 16-year-old aspiring drag queen Jamie New in the touring production which is at the Lyceum Theatre until February 29, spoke out on Twitter following an apparently chaotic matinee performance on Saturday.
“Dear audience members... this is NOT a panto,” Layton said. “Hissing, booing and heckling is NOT okay. You’ve distracted the entire cast and probs the rest of the audience.”
His tweet attracted dozens of replies from theatre fans agreeing with his comments.
“Well said – we were in the audience this afternoon and the panto behaviour was bizarre,” one of Layton's followers said.
Another wrote: “I couldn’t believe how rude some of the audience were. I said the exact same to my mum, that some people must have thought they were at a panto. You and the entire cast were wonderful and the show was incredible.”
One theatregoer said it was ‘awful on opening night’. “So many phones on, so much talking and getting up and down, so much rustling in sweets – it was so off-putting as an audience member," they said.
A further Twitter user suggested people had become ‘used to yelling at their telly’, saying: “They think they have the right to yell at artists as well. Maybe they need to be given a pamphlet on theatre etiquette as they enter.”
Sheffield Theatres, which operates the venue, was approached for comment.
After debuting at the Crucible in 2017, Everybody's Talking About Jamie transferred to the West End where it is still booking until the end of August 2020, while October will bring the release of a cinema version made by Warp Films with the original team - playwright Tom MacRae, songwriter Dan Gillespie Sells of The Feeling and Park Hill-born director Jonathan Butterell - all on board.
The musical, which is set in Sheffield, has started a six-month UK tour at the Lyceum, where it has been allotted a three-week run. The cast also includes entertainer Shane Richie.