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Soho theatre bans comedian after ‘verbal abuse’ of Jewish audience members



The Soho theatre has banned a comedian after Jewish audience members were “subjected to verbal abuse” after a performance last weekend.

The central London comedy venue investigated allegations that Paul Currie verbally abused a spectator.

The incident was alleged to have taken place on Saturday night after the end of a one-hour Shtoom show by Currie in front of an audience of 200 people.

A Jewish attender told the BBC that the comedian displayed a Palestinian flag and yelled “get out” at a man who objected.

The venue said Jewish attenders were “subjected to verbal abuse”.

In a statement, the theatre said Currie “aggressively demanded” Jewish members of the audience leave. “Such appalling actions are unacceptable and have no place on our stages, now or ever,” it said. “We will not be inviting Paul Currie back to perform at our venue.”

Currie was approached for comment.

According to a witness who gave an account to the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), Currie placed a Ukrainian and a Palestinian flag on the stage, and later in the show invited audience members to stand and applaud.

The Metropolitan police said on Monday it was aware of the incident and that inquiries were ongoing.

Currie’s show was described on the theatre website as a “unique, surrealist, dada punk-clown, non-verbal experience”. He does not speak in the hour-long show until the end and relies on mime, music and audience participation.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism said the theatre had engaged “positively and swiftly” with the group, and it was “clear that the venue was caught by surprise” as the show was “supposed to be non-verbal”.

A spokesperson added: “We will be arranging for senior representatives of the theatre to meet with Jewish members of the audience to talk about what happened. We are continuing to review legal options in respect of Mr Currie and are discussing the matter with members of the audience.”

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