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Soho Theatre: Met Police could investigate after Israeli audience member ‘hounded out’ of comedy show

Liahav Eitan, left, was sworn at by Paul Currie  (Supplied )
Liahav Eitan, left, was sworn at by Paul Currie (Supplied )

Police could probe an incident where an Israeli man was reportedly “hounded out” of a London theatre by a comedian when he did not stand and applaud the unfurling of a Palestinian flag.

Terrified Liahav Eitan was allegedly told to “get the f*** out” as Paul Currie encouraged his crowd to chant “free Palestine” during a stand-up comedy show.

Mr Eitan, out celebrating his 33rd birthday with a friend, had been in the second row at the Soho Theatre on Saturday when Currie shouted at him.

The software engineer today claimed he feared Currie was going to “punch” him and criticised the West End audience’s “mob mentality”.

The venue, a former synagogue, said it was “sorry and saddened” by the incident which sparked widespread anger.

The Metropolitan Police said: “We are aware of the incident and understand why it was upsetting for those involved.

“A report was submitted to police on Monday and enquiries are ongoing.”

Currie had shown the crowd a Ukrainian flag followed by a Palestinian one and invited them to stand and applaud. Mr Eitan and his friend remained seated.

The alternative comedian sarcastically thanked the pair for not standing and clapping. He then asked if they had enjoyed the gig.

Mr Eitan said he replied: “Yes, up until that point”, and Currie said: “Ah, up until that point.”

He told MailOnline: “Then he starts screaming, ‘I’m from Belfast. I know everything about ceasefires. Ceasefire now, get the f*** out of my theatre. Get out, get the f*** out of my show’.”

Mr Eitan said he and his friend had to cross the stage to leave the Dean Street venue, by which point Currie had started chants of “ceasefire now” and “free Palestine”.

Liahav Eitan was ‘hounded out’ of Soho Theatre comedy show (Supplied)
Liahav Eitan was ‘hounded out’ of Soho Theatre comedy show (Supplied)

He alleged: “The only way out was through the stage. We had to actually get on the stage quite close to him - and I was quite afraid that he’d throw a punch because he was still cursing and shouting.

“He got out his Palestine flag again and shouted “motherf***er you’ll have to watch it again on your way out’.”

Mr Eitan and his friend fled the theatre to Bloomsbury in a bid to get away by which time audience members were spilling out. Some started giving the pair “unfriendly glances”.

He continued: “From the audience, we were mostly scared. We wanted to get out of the of the situation. It seemed like a bit of a mob mentality that could go sour any second.

“So we were just afraid of violence. That’s why we didn’t linger right? We just wanted to get out of there.”

Mr Eitan, who moved from Israel to London five years ago, added: “I don't think theatres should book this person [Currie]. He seemed violent and dangerous.”

The Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “What the Jewish audience-members have recounted is atrocious, and we are working with them and our lawyers to ensure that those who instigated and enabled it are held to account.

“These allegations are of deeply disturbing discriminatory abuse against Jews.

“Comedians are rightly given broad latitude, but hounding Jews out of theatres is reminiscent of humanity’s darkest days, and must have no place in central London in 2024.”

Soho Theatre added: “We are sorry and saddened by an incident that took place at our venue at the end of a performance of Paul Currie: Shtoom on Saturday February 10 which has caused upset and hurt to members of audience attending and others.

 (Instagram / @paulcurriecomedian)
(Instagram / @paulcurriecomedian)

“We take this very seriously and are looking into the detail of what happened as thoroughly, as sensitively, and as quickly as we can. It is important to us that Soho Theatre is a welcoming and inclusive place for all.”

The show is described on the theatre’s website as a “unique, surrealist, dada punk-clown, non-verbal experience from the award-winning Belfast comedy artist Paul Currie”.

Currie has been contacted for comment.