English Actor Laurence Fox, who stars in the BBC drama Inspector Lewis and appeared in the films Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Becoming Jane, lost his cool on March 9th when at the end of a performance of his play, The Patriotic Traitor at London’s 200-seat Park theatre, he let a pestering audience member in the front row have it.
Fox plays Charles de Gaulle in the play, and instead of the final two lines of the play of this particular performance he shouted, “I won’t bother telling you the story because this c— in the front row has ruined it for everybody.” Fox then left without returning for a bow.
On the Today radio program the following day, Fox offered both an apology and an explanation. He first said, “Can I just start by apologizing to the other 199 people in the theatre for my use of language. It was a very emotional part of the play and I was very upset about it and am upset about how I behaved.” He then explained the circumstances, recalling that the person in the front row “started muttering and heckling” and that “It became so loud and impossible to deal with.” Fox said that in hindsight he should’ve stopped the performance and asked the man to leave, but in the heat moment of performing he was angry with the repeated annoyance.
Fox’s co-star in the play, Tom Conti, supported Fox by describing the man in the front row as “a real nuisance” and elaborated, “He was using swear words directed at Laurence but addressed to de Gaulle. I think he was a bit muddled, confusing Laurence with de Gaulle. I don’t know if he was drunk or what.”
Though Fox feels remorse, Conti seemed to have a great time with the whole situation. He says, “This is a mountain out of a molehill and poor Laurence is very contrite about it. We were right at the end of the play and none of us are bothered. It was a very funny line and is one of those incidents on the stage that actors will tell at dinner parties for years to come.”
via The Guardian