The performance of the musical attendants ended early after two disobedient members of the audience were ejected by security for performing the show’s famous track I’ll Always Love You.
Witnesses said the couple were “violently removed” from their seats during the show at Manchester’s Palace Theater and were allegedly assaulted by police officers.
The last 10 minutes of the musical, which starred former Pussycat Doll Melody Thornton, were called into question on Friday night after some audience members refused to sit down and stopped singing loudly.
The theater had asked people not to sing during the show, which is based on the 1992 film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.
Tash Kenyon, a 27-year-old payroll clerk from Wirral, told the PA news agency that she and her mother, Jan Kenyon, her nurse, had gone to the show on her 65th birthday. “It’s incredibly hard to miss.”
Tash said: “It used to be that stewards would walk around and sign shelves saying ‘Please refrain from singing one’ – it was incredibly hard to miss. Two announcements were made simultaneously saying “please don’t sing” and joining the audience at the last chance.
The show was about 20 minutes long and some of the guests were singing. The guests were removed, and the show continued. The show left about 10 minutes into the lead when he started doing I’ll Always Love You.
Someone shouted, “Shall we begin to sing here now?” whereupon the audience burst into laughter, and as he began to sing, he led over the top of the vocals.
“The show stopped a minute later, the lights went out, and I couldn’t see from my seat, but I could hear the commotion from the second row of seats, and people were looking up in shock.
“I’m pretty sure some of the women were taken by force. We decided to take the train home so we could leave and when we got to the foyer it was announced that the show had been canceled and everyone had to leave anyway.
“There was already a policeman outside, then two showed up, one almost hitting me and my mum while we were trying to cross the road.
A 60-year-old member of the audience told PA that after the cries of “we’re just singing”, “security intervened and fights broke out and the police were called – one and two police cars”.
Audience member Karl Bradley told BBC Radio Manchester that some of the theatergoers started playing Count I’s predecessor to Always Love You last and “starting themselves”, joining in with the song and trying to hit the song’s notoriously high notes, which you brought up. “chaos”.
Manchester Police confirmed that they had received two audience members after receiving reports of a “disturbance” at the theatre.
The force added: “The two men were said to have been removed by security staff from the police and a decision on further action will be made once the evidence has been reviewed.”
A spokesman for the theater confirmed that, despite the disruption on Friday, performances of the show will continue as normal until April 15.
They said: “We are disappointed that the last ten minutes of the show have been postponed due to unruly customers refusing to sit down and spoiling others performing.”
Thornton, 38, plays Rachel Marron in the touring theater production, which follows the career of secret agent-turned-security guard Frank Farmer as he is hired to protect superstar Rachel from an unknown gang.
Speaking in a video posted to her Instagram story following the breakup, Thornton thanked fans for attending the show and apologized for the breakup and early termination.
He added: “I know that people can only see a beautiful thing outside. I thank all those who are responsible actors, and I am very sorry for those who were not. I hope to see you soon. That is. Thank you, I will love you.”