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Keira Knightley’s Broadway debut interrupted by man, flowers

NEW YORK (AP) — Keira Knightley’s Broadway debut was interrupted when a member of the audience shouted at the actress and threw a bouquet of flowers at the stage before being escorted from the theater.

Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for BFI)

Knightley, who plays the title character in the play “Therese Raquin” was onstage Thursday with Gabriel Ebert when the disturbance took place at the Studio 54 Theatre, the same location where last year actor Shia LaBeouf was handcuffed during a performance of “Cabaret” for yelling obscenities.

“Roundabout takes the safety of their actors and audiences very seriously and extra security will be added beginning tonight,” said Jessica Johnson, who represents the Roundabout Theatre Company. “For obvious reasons, we cannot comment on the exact nature of the additional security measures.”

The incident on Thursday occurred during the first preview of “Therese Raquin,” a stage adaptation of the Emile Zola novel in which Knightley plays a beautiful, but doomed, heroine.

At one point, a young man in the mezzanine got up, went to the railing and shouted. Knightly did not break character and the man was heard to say: “Five seconds is too long to wait for a response!” An usher came and escorted the man back to his seat. When security arrived, the man tossed the flowers on his way out.

“Therese Raquin,” written in 1867, is about a woman trapped in a loveless marriage who embarks on an illicit affair with a friend of her husband’s. The story has been adapted into a 1953 film starring Simone Signoret and another recently starring Elizabeth Olsen.

Knightley made her West End debut in 2009 in the comedy “The Misanthrope” and two years later starred in Lillian Hellman’s “The Children’s Hour.”

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