webnexttech | Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar slams 'strange phenomenon' of people on their phones in theatres as...
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Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar has slammed the ‘strange modern phenomenon’ of people on their phones at the theatre as he joins Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Craig in hitting out.Known for his role as Superintendent Ted Hastings, Dunbar argued that people need to be told to turn their phones off in theatre and that it is distracting.
He said that even if just a couple of people are not concentrating, ‘it breaks the magic’.
He is the latest actor to speak out about the subject after Andrew Scott revealed he was once forced to pause his performance of Hamlet after an audience member opened their laptop.
‘Sometimes it’s people who haven’t been to the theatre before who just don’t get it.
They don’t know about the fourth wall,’ Dunbar, who will play Fred Graham in a new adaptation of ‘Kiss me, Kate’ at the Barbican in London this summer, told the Times.
Known for his role as Superintendent Ted Hastings, Adrian Dunbar argued that people need to be told to turn their phones off in theatre and that it is distracting Adrian Dunbar is to make his musical debut in the return of Kiss Me, Kate to the London stage Andrew Scott took on the titular role in the famous Shakespeare tragedy in 2017 at the Almeida Theatre in London (pictured November 2023) Dunbar said the theatre should be an engaged and collective experience (stock image) ‘They might think they’re watching TV and that they can step away from what’s happening.
‘Whereas actually the theatre is very much an engaged and a collective experience.’ Speaking about the fourth wall, Northern Irish actor Dunbar was referring to the imaginary barrier between actors on stage and an audience.
His comments came after Irish actor Scott told the Happy Sad Confused podcast about the time an audience member memorably took out their laptop to answer emails mid-show.
The 47-year-old was playing Hamlet in 2017 at the Almeida Theatre in London when the incident happened.
He said: ‘When I was playing Hamlet, a guy took out his laptop — not his phone, his laptop — while I was in the middle of ‘to be or not to f***ing be’.
‘I was pausing and [the stage team] were like, ‘Get on with it’ and I was like, ‘There’s no way.
I stopped for ages.
Andrew added that the woman beside the rude onlooker alerted him and caused him to finally put his computer away.
He concluded: ‘He had absolutely no doubts’.
Like Andrew, Benedict Cumberbatch was also taking on the role of Hamlet in 2015 when he complained about phones in the audience.
Addressing the spectators, he made an impassioned plea: ‘I can see cameras in the auditorium.
It may not be any of you here but it’s blindingly obvious.
Like Andrew, Benedict Cumberbatch was also taking on the role of Hamlet in 2015 when he complained about phones in the audience (pictured in play) Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar has slammed the ‘strange modern phenomenon’ of people on their phones at the theatre as he joins Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Craig in hitting out (stock image) ‘It’s mortifying and there’s nothing that’s less supportive or enjoyable as an actor on stage experiencing that.
Read more: Andrew Scott reveals he paused his performance of Hamlet after audience member opened a laptop to answer emails: ‘I was in the middle of “to be or not to f***ing be!”‘ Advertisement ‘What I really want to do is try and enlist you.
I don’t use social media and I’d really appreciate it if you did tweet, blog, hashtag the s**t out of this one for me.
‘This isn’t me blaming you, this is just me asking you to ripple it out there in the brilliant beautiful way that you do with your funny electronic things.
I’d really appreciate it.’ James McAvoy brought a 2013 theatre production of Macbeth to a standstill when he noticed a member of the audience was filming his performance.
The actor halted the show to berate the man, and refused to continue with the play until the camera was firmly put away.
In 2009, Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig confronted a theatre goer whose phone went off during their Broadway play, A Steady Rain.
Hugh stopped his performance to address the phone’s owner: ‘You want to get that?
You want to get it?
Grab it.
I don’t care.’ As the ringing continued, the actor fumed: ‘Come on, just turn it off…Unless you’ve got a better story.
You want to get up and tell your stories?’ James McAvoy halted the show to berate the man and refused to continue until the camera was put away (pictured in 2021) His co-star Daniel then joined in, saying: ‘Can you get that?
We can wait, just get the phone’.
Richard Griffiths famously threatened to leave the stage during The History Boys in 2006, after a phone rang three separate times during his performance.
Addressing the audience, the late actor said: ‘You should be ashamed of yourselves.
I am not going to compete with these electronic devices.
You were told to turn them off by the stage manager, you were told it was against the law.
‘We’re going to start this scene again.
If we hear one more phone go off, we’ll… quit this afternoon’s performance.
You have been warned.

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