Keira Knight­ley’s Broad­way de­but halted by man, flow­ers


Keira Knight­ley’s Broad­way de­but was in­ter­rupted when a mem­ber of the au­di­ence shouted at the ac­tress and threw a bou­quet of flow­ers at the stage be­fore be­ing es­corted from the theater.

Knight­ley, who plays the ti­tle char­ac­ter in the play “Therese Raquin” was on­stage Thurs­day with Gabriel Ebert when the dis­tur­bance took place at the Stu­dio 54 Theatre, the same lo­ca­tion where last year ac­tor Shia LaBeouf was hand­cuffed dur­ing a per­for­mance of “Cabaret” for yelling ob­scen­i­ties.

“Round­about takes the safety of their ac­tors and au­di­ences very se­ri­ously and ex­tra se­cu­rity will be added be­gin­ning tonight,” said Jes­sica John­son, who rep­re­sents the Round­about Theatre Com­pany. “For ob­vi­ous rea­sons, we can­not com­ment on the ex­act na­ture of the ad­di­tional se­cu­rity mea­sures.”

The in­ci­dent on Thurs­day oc- curred dur­ing the first preview of “Therese Raquin,” a stage adap­ta­tion of the Emile Zola novel in which Knight­ley plays a beau­ti­ful, but doomed, hero­ine.

At one point, a young man in the mez­za­nine got up, went to the rail­ing and shouted. Knightly did not break char­ac­ter and the man was heard to say: “Five sec­onds is too long to wait for a re­sponse!” An usher came and es­corted the man back to his seat. When se­cu­rity ar­rived, the man tossed the flow­ers on his way out.

“Therese Raquin,” writ­ten in 1867, is about a woman trapped in a love­less mar­riage who em­barks on an il­licit af­fair with a friend of her hus­band’s. The story has been adapted into a 1953 film star­ring Si­mone Sig­noret and another re­cently star­ring El­iz­a­beth Olsen.

Knight­ley made her West End de­but in 2009 in the com­edy “The Mis­an­thrope” and two years later starred in Lil­lian Hell­man’s “The Chil­dren’s Hour.”

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