Entertainment & Arts

Kit Harington 'defends' Faustus theatregoers

Kit Harington in Doctor Faustus Image copyright Marc Brenner
Image caption Kit Harington in Doctor Faustus

Actor Kit Harington has defended the behaviour of young theatregoers at the recent production of Doctor Faustus.

Theatre producer Richard Jordan wrote in The Stage that the audience on the play's final night in the West End had left him "despairing".

He described how one couple ate chicken nuggets while others took photos and videos.

But Harington told The Guardian he did not feel audiences were "disrespectful in the slightest".

He 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."

'Worst West End audience'

The Game of Thrones star said that during the 10-week run at Duke of York's Theatre he had counted only one time that he heard a phone ring 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."

Directed by Jamie Lloyd, the reworking of Christopher Marlowe's 16th century play saw Harington's Faustus become a Las Vegas illusionist after selling his soul to the Devil.

Jordan had written in his opinion piece: "My night at Doctor Faustus will rate as possibly the worst West End audience I have ever encountered.

"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."

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