Keira Knightley has made her Broadway debut. The 30-year-old actress impressed critics and audience members with her performance on Thursday's opening night of Thérèse Raquin – despite an unwanted interruption just minutes into the play.
Keira, who welcomed daughter Edie in May, stars as the titular character in the production, which opened this week for a month of previews. She was on stage with co-star Gabriel Ebert when the disturbance took place. According to eye-witnesses, a young man in the mezzanine got up from his seat and made his way to the railing, from where he started shouting things at the stage.
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Keira Knightley impressed on her Broadway debut - despite an disturbance from an audience member
Members of the audience were initially confused as to whether he was part of the play – but it soon became clear that his outburst was directed at Keira. The actress remained in character and ignored the man, prompting him to shout: "Five seconds is too long to wait for a response."
An usher then walked the man back to his seat and waited with him until security arrived. London-born Keira and Gabriel continued to act their parts – and it was not until security approached the man that the actors broke character.
Keira on stage with her Thérèse Raquin co-stars
As the man was being escorted out, he picked up a bouquet of flowers and threw them on to the stage, where they landed just a few feet from the actors. After a moment of silence, Gabriel, who plays Keira's husband Camille, walked over and kicked them into the wings, to applause from the audience.
The play is a stage adaptation of the French novel of the same name by Émile Zola. It tells the story of a young woman locked in a loveless marriage, who begins a passionate affair. Thérèse Raquin officially opens on Broadway at Studio 54 on Thursday 29 October.