Theatre issues allergy warning over peanuts on stage

Moonlight and Magnolias Image copyright Nottingham Playhouse
Image caption The production is described as a "riotous farce"

A theatre has issued an allergy warning ahead of its staging of a play which features peanuts throughout.

Moonlight and Magnolias tells the story of three men locked in a room and forced to rewrite Gone With The Wind with only peanuts and bananas to eat.

It is due to open at Nottingham Playhouse on 21 February.

The venue said its prop department was able to create fake bananas but not peanuts due to their texture, size and the need for them to break up.

'Hit by stray peanut'

The theatre's chief executive Stephanie Sirr said: "Moonlight and Magnolias is a very fast-paced and physical comedy and, yes, peanuts may fly around.

"Being hit by a stray peanut is funny if you don't have an allergy and a problem if you do.

"In common with airlines, schools and most other public-facing companies, we'd prefer to err on the side of caution."

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A notice on the theatre's website advises anyone with a severe peanut allergy to contact the box office.

Image copyright Nottingham Playhouse
Image caption Venue bosses said there was a chance audience members could be hit by a peanut

Allergy charity Anaphylaxis Campaign said the potential risks were low but commended the venue for its caution.

A spokesperson said: "It is quite difficult for peanut proteins to become airborne, so unless the nuts are being thrown into the audience, or being crushed, cooked or processed in some way so as to release peanut dust into the atmosphere, the risk of an audience member suffering an allergic reaction is likely to be low.

"However, there are a small number of people who tell us that they react to the smell of peanuts.

"Issuing a prior warning will help those individuals to make an informed decision about any risk posed prior to purchasing tickets.

"We would advise issuing prior warning of any food used in a performance, including nuts and bananas, as there are many foods that can cause a reaction."

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