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Audience member walks out of Rent performance after realising 'the show was about gays'

rent no day but today

A theatre company has spoken out after an audience member walked out of a performance of Rent, declaring they “didn’t realise the show was about gays”.

Bite My Thumb’s production of Jonathan Larson’s iconic musical was playing at Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds at the weekend when the incident happened.

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In a statement posted to social media, the theatre company shared: “After a storming performance of ‘Today 4 U, Tomorrow 4 Me’, a single audience member, picked up their coat, rose from their chair and left the auditorium. On exiting the individual turned to a member of the front of house team and declared ‘I DIDN’T REALISE THIS SHOW WAS ABOUT GAYS’.

“All the cast, creatives and backstage crew of the production were utterly disgusted to hear about this display of small minded ignorance. As a theatre company, we purposely chose Rent to give a voice to the LGBTQ+ community and educate on the horrors of the AIDS epidemic.”

They added: “In a bid to take a single individual’s hate and create something positive from it, Bite My Thumb will be donating a percentage of that performance’s box office to a LGBTQ+ charity that will decided upon by our cast.

“So thank you to that close minded, out-dated person. Your appalling attitude now means an underfunded LGBTQ+ organisation will receive a donation it so desperately needs and will put to good use.”

They concluded: “Hate is always foolish and love is always wise.”

On Twitter, people had plenty to say on the incident.

One commented: “Boy, are they in for a shock when they go to see Cats – ‘I DIDN’T REALISE THIS SHOW WAS ABOUT CATS’, Hamilton – ‘I DIDN’T REALISE THIS SHOW WAS ABOUT HAMILTON’, or The Rocky Horror – ‘I DIDN’T REALISE THIS SHOW WAS ABOUT A SWEET TRANSVESTITE FROM TRANSSEXUAL TRANSYLVANIA’.”

While a second quipped: “Sad state of affairs that you can’t even go and see musical theatre these days without being exposed to homosexuals.”

And a third commented: “Thank you for turning this in to something positive. It seems that this is someone who a) has lived under a rock and b) might need to stay there and c) has somehow totally missed some of the key elements of generation defining musical”

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