Kit Harington defends theatregoers criticised for eating and talking

Game of Thrones actor who starred in West End show Doctor Faustus says prejudice towards younger fans could kill theatre

Kit Harington, the Game of Thrones star who found himself at the centre of a row over theatre audiences’ behaviour this week, has said criticising young fans could kill theatre.

Harington rejected claims made by the award-winning theatre producer Richard Jordan in The Stage newspaper that audiences had behaved inappropriately at the final night of Harington’s Doctor Faustus at London’s Duke of York theatre.

Harington, who rose to fame as Jon Snow in the TV series, said: “I am afraid that if the theatre is going to die of anything it will be from exactly this type of stereotyping and prejudice aimed towards a new and younger generation of theatregoers.

“I have been a theatregoer since childhood and I didn’t feel that our audiences were disrespectful in the slightest. In the whole run of 10 weeks I can count one time that a phone went off in the audience.

“Of course pictures were occasionally taken, as unfortunately cannot be avoided in any audience anywhere today, but on the whole it was not a huge amount and definitely not off-putting as a performer. I found our audiences to be hugely enthusiastic, energised and responsive. I can’t think of a greater support I’ve had as an actor on the stage.”

Jordan had said that television audiences enticed to the West End by big stars were ruining the experience for others by talking, eating loudly and answering their mobile phones.

“What amazed me most was this audience, many of them Game of Thrones fans, could see nothing wrong in talking, eating and taking pictures throughout the show – or complaining when asked to stop,” he wrote in the Stage.

“A couple saw nothing wrong in producing from their bag a box of McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets and a large side of fries. At the interval, they had popped out and purchased these to consume through the second half.

“Munching certainly seemed to be the order of the day. The couple to my left ate their way through a large tub of popcorn during act I, while the couple on my right chomped through a packet of crisps. It was like listening to eating in Dolby Stereo, and sadly at the expense of being able to properly hear the lines being spoken on stage.”

Source: The Guardian