Unruly Fan Disrupts Keira Knightley’s Broadway Debut

This summer saw a spate of Broadway audience members misbehaving, but those cell-phone related incidents, while annoying, weren't nearly as extreme as what happened to Keira Knightley and her fellow cast members during their performance Thursday night. Knightley's first night on Broadway was interrupted by a man who reportedly proposed marriage from the mezzanine and hurled flowers at the stage in the middle of the performance. These are the sort of flowers a performer does not want to see flying onto the stage. Though Knightley is not new to live theater, the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Thérèse Raquin marks her Broadway debut. The play by Helen Edmundson, which opens officially October 29, is based on an Émile Zola novel about a woman in an unhappy marriage to her cousin. According to The Guardian, a man started making a commotion from the mezzanine while Knightley was on stage with co-star Gabriel Ebert. After Knightley didn't acknowledge him, the man said, "Five seconds is too long to wait for a response," The Guardian reports. As the man was being removed by security, he threw a bouquet onto the stage. Ebert kicked the flowers off into the wings to applause. While the actors attempted to continue on, The Guardian noted, that a "short break" was then announced. BroadwayWorld spoke to audience member Dian Crystal, who said those around her "thought he was part of the cast, and trying to persuade the character to marry him instead of her cousin." Another audience member, Kacey Bange, told E! News that the man yelled, "Keira, none of this is real! This is all an act! Christ was born of a virgin!" and, more simply, "Will you marry me?" Others on Twitter posted their reactions:
A representative for the production confirmed the details of The Guardian report to Refinery29, adding, "Roundabout takes the safety of their actors and audiences very seriously and extra security will be added beginning tonight."

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