The show must go on—unless audience members won’t stop singing along to the songs, causing a small riot to break out in the aisles.
As Variety reports, that’s exactly what happened at a production of The Bodyguard in Manchester, England, on Friday, April 7.
Not only does the musical cover songs from the 1992 Whitney Houston–starring movie it was based on—which boasts the best-selling movie soundtrack of all time—but it also features a bunch of other Houston hits that weren’t in the film, including “How Will I Know,” “Saving All My Love for You,” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” In short, it’s no surprise that theater patrons tend to know all the words. What’s a bit more shocking is just how hell-bent some of them are on sharing that knowledge with everyone else.
Friday’s Manchester performance at the Palace Theater, with former Pussycat Doll Melody Thornton in Houston’s role, was first paused in Act One because audience members were singing along. Though the show continued after that outburst died down, another upswell during “I Will Always Love You” proved tougher to defuse. As the crowd’s “tuneless howling” filled the auditorium, per Variety, Thornton’s microphone was turned off and the house lights were turned on. Footage from the scene shows security guards forcibly ousting some rowdy patrons who tried and failed to resist their removal. Other patrons took to social media to describe the “mini riot” and “fights in the aisles.”
This time, the remainder of the show—only about 10 minutes—was canceled. Thornton and Ayden Callaghan, the titular bodyguard, both apologized and expressed their disappointment on social media.
Manchester doesn’t have a monopoly on unruly musical lovers: A run of The Bodyguard in Glasgow earlier this year prompted similar behavior, which many guests attributed to too much drinking before and during the show. If you want to drink and sing, maybe forgo the theater in favor of the nearest karaoke bar.