Just Stop Oil: Five arrested after protesters storm Les Miserables West End show
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Five people have been arrested after Just Stop Oil protesters disrupted a performance of Les Miserables in the West End.
Demonstrators stormed the stage carrying orange banners reading ‘Just Stop Oil’ and ‘The Show Can’t Go On’ during the performance of “Do You Hear the People Sing.”
Video footage from inside the Sondheim Theatre on Wednesday night showed audience members booing and telling the activists to "get off" the stage.
The stunt forced the evacuation of the theatre and there was not enough time for the show to be completed.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Just Stop Oil said four people had "locked" themselves to the stage at the Sondheim Theatre.
"Valjean steals bread to feed a starving child. How long before we are all forced to steal?" it added. Jean Valjean is the protagonist in Les Miserables.
The post continued: "The fossil fuel show can’t go on."
The Metropolitan Police said five people were arrested at the theatre.
The force said: “At about 9pm police were called to a protest inside a theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.
“Local officers were quickly on scene and five people were arrested.”
William Village, chief executive of Delfont Mackintosh Theatres - which owns the Sondheim - said "safety protocols" had to be followed and "the audience were asked to leave the auditorium and the Met Police attended".
"Regrettably, there was insufficient time to enable us to complete the rest of the performance," he said in a statement.
"Whilst we recognise the importance of free expression, we must also respect our audience’s right to enjoy the event for which they have paid."
Wednesday night’s protest is the latest targeting of a high-profile public event by the group.
Just Stop Oil says its ultimate aim is to "demand that the UK government stop licensing all new oil, gas and coal projects".