An audience member at a York production of Shakespeare's As You Like It walked out of the theatre - and complained that the play contained Yorkshire accents.
The performance was put on by Northern Broadsides Theatre Company, a Halifax-based theatre company, at York Theatre Royal. After a performance on Monday, the theatre company tweeted that an audience member left the show an hour into the 150-minute production and issued the complaint.
"We're in an age where people demand a refund because they're offended by a Yorkshire accent doing Shakespeare. If this proves anything, it's that more Northern voices and stories need to be heard on our stages. We're not going anywhere. Here's to the next generation!" the Northern Broadsides Theatre Company tweeted on Tuesday.
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The theatre company is currently touring the UK in celebration of their 30th anniversary. They have received glowing reviews including one that described the production of As You Like It as "Funny, moving, powerful and bold".
The ridiculous complaint led many theaters to tweet standing in solidarity with the Northern Broadsides company.
Oh dear. We are proud to say we will not be adding 'Yorkshire accents' as a trigger warning for the show!\n\nBook now for the fantastically northern adaptation of Shakespeare's #AsYouLikeIt http://bit.ly/3HVX9SA\u00a0 https://twitter.com/tomwbird/status/1508399846633480192\u00a0\u2026— Theatr Clwyd (@Theatr Clwyd) 1648564031
Ey up!\nPlease be aware that there will be proper proud Yorkshire accents on stage, in the bar, in box office and all over the Playhouse when our pals @NBroadsides bring their reet grand new version of #AsYouLikeIt to our Quarry stage in May.\nSo, think on.https://twitter.com/NBroadsides/status/1508799762321002505\u00a0\u2026— Leeds Playhouse (@Leeds Playhouse) 1648562337
"It's a very rare complaint, but when it does come along, it makes you realize people can still have preconceived ideas about what culture is, who it's for, and how it should be performed," Laurie Samson the Northern Broadsides' artistic director and CEO, said to BBC. "We really embrace ripping that up."
People on social media replied to the news supporting the Northern Broadsides and other Northern actors.
"The whole idea of thinking only certain accents have to be heard in theatre or on film has always come across as obtuse to me," Lucas tweeted.
"This is bonkers and so sad that the complainant left one of the stand out productions of this show I've seen," Helen said.
The company said they will continue to champion actors from across the North including Yorkshire.
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