Orlando Bloom stopped his West End show, Killer Joe, twice last week to tell one audience member to put her iPad away. The Lord of the Rings actor, who is starring as the lead role in the show at Trafalgar Studio One, kept in character as the foul-mouthed police officer to address the woman using her iPad. The incident was tweeted by London theatre critic Mark Shenton, who wrote: "Eye-witness account from today’s matinee of @KillerJoePlay: #OrlandoBloom made two unscripted interventions: "I need YOU to put iPad AWAY NOW!" Then again a few mins later: "PUT that [expletive] iPad away now and I will wait."
Orlando stopped the play to tell the audience member to put her iPad away
A fellow audience member replied to the tweet, writing: "I was sat behind and although it would have looked bad, in her defence she was only using it to charge her fan as the auditorium was roasting." A spokesperson for the theatre addressed the issue, saying: "There was an incident at yesterday's matinee of Killer Joe that was dealt with swiftly and efficiently by the Front of House team. The Trafalgar Studios is a very intimate performance space, which can make the use of electronic devices by any audience member extremely distracting for the Company. The Trafalgar Studios' team [does] a great job of making sure everyone at the Theatre can enjoy the live experience."
Orlando isn't the first star to appeal to the audience to put their electronic devices away during a show, as Benedict Cumberbatch asked fans to put away their cameras during his stint in Hamlet back in 2015. Speaking at the stage door, he said: "Put this to good use - it's been a hell of a week. This is part of it, outside, whatever, fine. But I can see cameras, I can see red lights in the auditorium. It's blindingly obvious, it's very, very obvious. We started again tonight... it's not the easiest thing to do in a play but [it makes it] even harder. I could see a red light in the third row. It's mortifying."