Stage actors raged against audience members who were glued to England’s dramatic World Cup penalty shootout win on their mobile phones while they attended a musical.
The country was gripped as Gareth Southgate’s team ended their penalties hoodoo to beat Colombia in the last 16 on Tuesday
But actor Niall Sheehy tweeted his outrage as two women failed to control their emotions and keep their eyes fixed on the stage for “Titanic The Musical” in the city of Nottingham.
“To the two women in the front row tonight who not only followed the penalty shootout on their phone but also said ‘yesss’ on each goal scored, you are the most ignorant audience members I have ever had the misfortune to perform in front of,” Sheehy said.
“And when a cast member signalled ‘put your phone away’ during the bows and you smiled, gave a thumbs up and replied ‘I know — we won!!’, I think you may have let us all know you are the stupidest woman on the planet.”
Sheehy’s fellow cast member Kieran Brown was also shocked by the behaviour.
“Dumbfounded. 2 ladies, 1 older 1 middle-aged, slap bang front row clearly watching football on phones during the most poignant moment of lifeboats scene, cheering & giggling like stupid schoolgirls,” tweeted Brown.
“To say I’m raging is an understatement! They should be marched out in disgrace!”
The two women did receive some support on social media.
One wit, referring to the Titanic story, said “we know it sinks” but pointed out there was no such obvious ending to a penalty shootout involving England, who had a miserable record from spot-kicks before the Colombia win.
As Saturday’s quarter-final looms, people across the country are planning how they will watch the game.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper wished the cast of the Titanic show well as their matinee on Saturday clashes with the Sweden match, which kicks off at 1400 GMT in Samara.
“Weddings are particularly susceptible to distraction: ‘Two shall be one flesh,’ it says in the service. Is it to be 2-1 then?” the paper said in an editorial.
“But it’s if a shootout distracts taxi drivers in traffic, butchers as their cleaver descends or surgeons inserting a delicate suture that real penalties could be paid.”
The Pride event in London, which attracted around a million people last year, is not going to show the match and the All England Club has refused to use big screens at Wimbledon for the football.
There is one British player left in the singles draw — Kyle Edmund — and his third-round match against Novak Djokovic could clash with the quarter-final in Russia.