Thursday 21 September 2017

Bianca Jagger accuses theatre critic of 'physical assault'

Critic Mark Shenton and Bianca Jagger in heated exchange over theatre etiquette.

Phenomenal concentration: hats off to the performers of 'Einstein on the Beach'
Phenomenal concentration: hats off to the performers of 'Einstein on the Beach'

Theatre critic for the Sunday Express Mark Shenton has criticised Bianca Jagger after she was seen using flash photography in a theatre in London.

Shenton accused the activist and Mick Jagger's ex-wife of taking pictures throughout the five hour production of Philip Glass's Einstein on the Beach.



As the curtain came up he confronted Jagger - not realising who she was - and lambasted her for distrupting the performance, calling her "a stupid woman".



In his blog on The Stage website, the critic explains he was driven to confront Jagger after the front of house staff at the Barbican Theatre did nothing to intervene.



"I confronted the offender myself, going into full Patti LuPone ‘who do you think you are?’ mode as I did so — and receiving a few cheers as the exiting audience babble died down enough for my declaration ‘You stupid woman’ to be heard by everyone around me."



On Twitter, Jagger insisted that she had been taking pictures only during the curtain call, although Shenton denies that this is the case.



Twitter: Bianca Jagger - @TheProjectRoom You are making allegations without proof, many around me where taking pic. It's not a crime 2 take pic during curtain call,



Jagger then took to defend herself in the comments feed on his blog calling Shenton's actions "physical assault & abusive behaviour."



She said: "I snapped a couple of photographs during curtain call, many others were taking photographs during the performance....Mark Shenton pushed everyone in the row where I was sitting, before assaulting me."



Shenton flatly denied that he physically assaulted her: "For the record, I did not touch her. At all. I will, however, freely admit to deliberately insulting her. I’m glad she so obviously heard it."



It was the UK premiere of the opera, which is a collaboration between composer Glass and the theatre director Robert Wilson, first devised in 1976. The Telegraph's opera critic Rupert Christiansen called it "flatulently pretentious and asphyxiatingly tedious."



Many theatres have a no photography or video recording policy, citing that it is a distraction for both audience and cast. Among other unspoken rules of the theatre is a ban on eating, talking and using mobile phones.

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