A rowdy drunk caused a near sold out Jersey Boys theatre show to be halted - because she refused to stop singing along, a court was told on Friday.
Elizabeth Montague, 54, is alleged to have caused a disturbance during the popular stage show by belting out the lyrics to songs at The Playhouse theatre in Edinburgh earlier this year. Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told security staff were forced to intervene following complaints from angry audience members who were sitting near Montague and her partner Scott Kirk.
The crowd were said to have booed as the show was stopped and the lights came up and the curtain down around 20 minutes from the end of the performance. Montague and Kirk, both from Hamilton, Lanarkshire, are then alleged to have attacked several security staff members by pushing and kicking them. A security manager told the court the incident was “one of the worst things I’ve had to deal with” in his six years of employment at the theatre.
Both accused claim they did nothing wrong and it was them who were assaulted by the theatre’s security team after they had been taken to a side bar area during the show on January 28 this year. Montague claimed her trousers were pulled down and she was left exposed during the melee while Kirk claims he was left covered in blood and had to be taken to hospital for treatment to head injuries.
Montague and Kirk, 53, denied the seven allegations of assault and behaving in a threatening manner they face and stood trial at the Capital’s sheriff court on Friday. Paul Henderson, a security supervisor, told the court the incident began during the show’s interval when Montague was seen by staff to be “staggering, stumbling and unsteady on her feet”. He said staff decided to tell her she could not be served any more alcohol leaving her “not very happy about it”.
Mr Henderson said a decision was made to allow the unruly pair to stay for the second half of the show but audience members soon complained when they show resumed as Montague was “talking and singing loudly”.
The court was told there were signs within the auditorium and an announcement made that singing along during the performance was prohibited. The supervisor said a further decision was made to eject the couple due to the singing and their “aggressive behaviour” towards theatre staff.
Mr Henderson told the court the Jersey Boys performance was temporarily halted and the lights were put on and the curtain came down on the stage. He said the couple were “spoiling the show” for other patrons and the audience began booing and shouting “get them out, get them out”.
Mr Henderson said Kirk then pushed him in the chest causing him to fall against a wall and he and colleagues were forced to usher him into a nearby bar area. The staff member told the court while in the bar area the security team were forced to take Kirk to the ground. He also said Montague followed soon after and was also put to the floor in a bid to stop her aggressive behaviour.
The court heard during the incident in the bar Montague lashed out with her feet and kicked a female security member to the head and body. Mr Henderson said following the alleged assaults on him and his colleagues the police were called in.
Ronan Isdale, a security employee at the theatre, told the court he denied any allegations that the security staff had assaulted the couple and that he had witnessed Montague lashing out. He said he was struck on the face during the alleged incident and that Montague was in “a state of hysteria” while being restrained in the bar area.
The trial in front of Sheriff Robert Fife went part-heard and will resume in October. Montague denies two charges of assault and one offence of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner at the Playhouse theatre in Edinburgh on January 28 this year.
Kirk denies three allegations of assault and one charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner during the same incident.