Mayflower Theatre issues statement in response to alleged racially motivated assault

Mayflower Theatre issues statement in response to alleged racially motivated assault

by Sally Churchward.

Sir Michael Ockwell, chief executive of Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre, has issued a statement this morning (August 16th) following allegations of a racially motivated assault on a child in the audience by a fellow audience member at Saturday night’s performance.

Dr Nazneen Ahmed Pathak took to Twitter following the event to share her upset about what had happened, writing:  “Another day, another experience of racism and violence in a cultural space. This time, MY CHILD. My 9 yo, was SLAPPED on the arm by a white woman and told aggressively to “shush” at a theatre. He was NOT making any noise. And guess who was moved when I complained? US.”

The Tweet was liked more than 14 thousand times and shared more than 2,000 times.

She went on to share that the incident had occurred at the Mayflower Theatre, writing in more detail for In Common that she discovered in the interval that the woman sitting next to her son had slapped his arm and told him to ‘ssh’ and sharing her disappointment and frustration in the way the incident was handled by theatre staff, who ultimately moved her and her son to  different seats.

She wrote: “When I asked them about their safeguarding responsibilities to children in their space, they said “it’s just like any public space, we can’t do anything. If you want to, you can contact the police.” I assured them I would be.”

Nazneen’s Tweet and subsequent posts relating to the incident have been widely shared, with many criticising the Mayflower Theatre and asking them to respond. In Common contacted the theatre on Sunday but has yet to receive a reply.

However, this morning, the theatre shared the following statement from their chief executive on their social media account:

“Mayflower Theatre has not previously issued a statement as we have been investigating an unfortunate incident that took place between two audience members on Saturday 13 August in its auditorium.

“The theatre is committed to inclusivity and it is the venue’s aim to make theatre accessible for all.

“The theatre has been in contact with the individual affected by the incident and offered a full apology and is very open to have further conversations with them to ensure learnings can made and current processes assessed.”

In Common has contacted Nazneen, who is preparing a statement in response.


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You can read the original story here:

Experience: it was supposed to be a perfect evening – instead my young child suffered a racist assault