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Apology from Soho Theatre Following Reports of Jewish Guests Being Harassed at Comedy Show

The audience is believed to have also begun shouting ‘get out’ and ‘free Palestine,’ until a young Israeli man and his partner left the theatre.

Soho Theatre in London has apologised and said it is investigating claims a comedian “hounded out” Jewish audience members after they objected to the presence of a Palestinian flag.

Jewish charity Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) is assisting the affected guests and said it understood the incident was triggered when comedian Paul Currie had produced the Ukrainian and Palestinian flags at the end of his show on Saturday and encouraged the audience to stand and applaud.

Mr. Currie then reportedly asked an Israeli man why he had remained seated, according to the CAA, with the man responding that he had enjoyed the show until the Palestinian flag appeared.

The CAA said the comedian “yelled at” the Israeli man to leave, and that others in the audience also began shouting abuse. The guest and his partner left, followed by a Jewish party-of-four.

Soho Theatre, based in the capital’s West End theatre district, said in a statement posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday: “We are sorry and saddened by an incident that took place at our venue at the end of a performance of Paul Currie: Shtoom on Saturday February 10 which has caused upset and hurt to members of audience attending and others.
“We take this very seriously and are looking into the detail of what happened as thoroughly, as sensitively, and as quickly as we can. It is important to us that Soho Theatre is a welcoming and inclusive place for all.”

Comedian Reportedly Told Israeli to ‘Get Out of My Show’

One Jewish attendee, who the CAA said wished to remain anonymous, supplied an account of the events to the charity, detailing the alleged interaction between Mr. Currie and the Israeli guest.

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The witness, one of the party of four who left after the departure of the Israeli and his partner, said that after the audience sat down again, Mr. Currie “looked towards a young man sitting in the second row and said ‘You didn’t stand, why? Didn’t you enjoy my show?’”

“I enjoyed your show until you brought out the Palestinian Authority flag,” the Israeli guest reportedly said, prompting the comedian to yell at the man: “Get out of my show. Get the [expletive] out of here. [Expletive] off, get the [expletive] out of here.”

The witness statement to the CAA said that the audience then began shouting “Get out” and “Free Palestine” until the young man and his partner left.

A spokesperson for CAA said: “What the Jewish audience-members have recounted is atrocious, and we are working with them and our lawyers to ensure that those who instigated and enabled it are held to account.

“These allegations are of deeply disturbing discriminatory abuse against Jews. Comedians are rightly given broad latitude, but hounding Jews out of theatres is reminiscent of humanity’s darkest days, and must have no place in central London in 2024.”

“We are reviewing legal options after comedian Paul Currie allegedly led his audience in discriminatory chanting,” the CAA said.

Charity Commission Looking Into Incident

The theatre, a former synagogue, is a registered charity. A spokesperson from the Charity Commission said that they were aware of concerns that had been raised relating to the event, and “are currently assessing information available to us to determine if there is a role for the Commission.”

The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that protects British Jews from anti-Semitism, had been reporting a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the months following the Oct. 7, 2023 Hamas terror attack on Israel.

In December 2023, the CST said it recorded that at least 2,093 anti-Semitic incidents had occurred across the UK in the 68 days between Oct. 7 and Dec. 13, higher than the total reported throughout the entire year prior to Hamas’s attack.

PA Media contributed to this report.

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