Irish stage actor slams 'stupid' theatregoers who watched and cheered England's World Cup win from FRONT ROW of Titanic musical
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Irish stage actor slams 'stupid' theatregoers who watched and cheered England's World Cup win from FRONT ROW of Titanic musical

AN IRISH stage actor has hit out at two audience members who cheered as they watched England's World Cup win on their phones in the front row of a musical.

The incident occurred at a performance of Titanic: The Musical at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham on Tuesday evening.

The show clashed with the Three Lions' dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Colombia in the last 16 of the World Cup - but some theatregoers couldn't resist keeping up with the big game on their phones.

Bray-born actor Niall Sheehy, 37, tweeted: "To the two women in the front row tonight who not only followed the penalty shootout on their phone, but also said 'yesss' on each goal scored, you are the most ignorant audience members I have ever had the misfortune to perform in front of".

"And when a cast member signalled 'put your phone away' during the bows and you smiled, gave a thumbs up and replied 'I know - we won!!', I think you may have let us all know you are the stupidest woman on the planet".

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The enraged Irishman added: "Please avoid attending any future theatrical productions."

Another cast member, Kieran Brown, wrote: "Dumbfounded. 2 ladies, 1 older 1 middle aged, slap bang front row clearly watching football on phones during the most poignant moment of lifeboats scene, cheering & giggling like stupid schoolgirls.

"To say I'm raging is an understatement! They should be marched out in disgrace!"

A third actor, Stephen Webb, added: "If you come to theatre to see the show do not... I say do not... sit there on your phone to watch the World Cup!!! Stay at home!! It's so disrespectful!! Especially if you are sat in the front row!!!! #manners #GoHome".

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The anger of the cast prompted an apology from one audience member "on behalf of the appalling lady in the front centre of the stalls who could not stay off her phone.

"I can assure you she doesn't represent the way people usually behave at @RoyalNottingham," they said.

However, some Twitter users saw no problem with the behaviour. One wrote: "Oh no... Showing a bit of passion for their team in a BIG match!

"Shame on them for doing it during the show but c'mon sometimes human nature has a desire to do things that aren't intentionally bad willed."

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Jonathan Saville, interim venue director of the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall Nottingham, branded the theatregoers involved "disrespectful and distracting".

In a statement, the theatre added: "It would seem that these two audience members seated on the front row, only a few feet away from the stage, perhaps had not realised that their actions could be both seen and heard.

"Even if audience members feel that they are being quiet or discreet in checking their phones during a performance, it is both disrespectful and distracting to the actors on stage and to the other people around them.

"Our staff are vigilant in stopping this kind of behaviour, where it is practical to do so without further distracting from the action on stage, but we do also rely on people using courtesy and respect to those around them when they come to see a live theatre performance."

England's next match kicks off at 3pm on Saturday as Gareth Southgate's men face Sweden in the quarter-finals in Russia.

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Predictably, the big game coincides with the touring musical's matinee performance - but it's hoped audience members will be more interested in the drama on stage than theatrics on the pitch next time around.