Despite the presence of pro-Palestinian protesters disrupting Israel's Habima theater company’s performance in London on Monday, the actors maintained their performance.
The Hebrew-language performance was part of the Globe Theatre’s Cultural Shakespeare festival. Calls for the Globe to cancel the show didn’t deter the public and it went ahead with a sell-out performance.
But in the middle of the performance of The Merchant of Venice, some 10 pro-Palestinian demonstrators in the audience suddenly began waving Palestinian flags and signs calling for an end to the "Israeli Apartheid regime" as well as for a boycott of Israeli products.
The actors carried on with the show.
Security personnel removed the protesters from the theater. Later on, another group stood up with band-aids plastered to their mouths.
At the same time, pro-Israel supporters demonstrated outside the theater waving Israeli flags with signs that read: “Culture unites, Boycotts divide.”
They also expressed their support for the Israeli actors.
“You're not watching politicians or policymakers. You are watching artists who are here to tell a story,” said Dominic Dromgoole, Globe Theatre artistic director .
Founded in Moscow in 1913, the Habima theater settled in Tel Aviv in the late 1920s. Since 1958, it has been recognised as the National Theatre of Israel.