Audience Singing Ends Bodyguard Performance

Patrons' voices competed with star's on 'I Will Always Love You'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 8, 2023 2:15 PM CDT
Unplanned Singalong Ends Bodyguard Performance
Melody Thornton, shown in 2021, was onstage in England when audience members began singing with her.   (Ian West/PA via AP, File)

A British performance of The Bodyguard musical ended in unrequited love for some audience members who couldn't refrain from singing along to the anthemic finale, the AP reports. The show at the Palace Theatre in Manchester screeched to a halt Friday when two unruly patrons were ejected for joining the lead in singing "I Will Always Love You," the soaring, emotional ballad sung in the film by Whitney Houston. It was not supposed to be a singalong. Ushers carried signs saying, "Please refrain from singing," and announcements were made in advance telling patrons they'd have a chance to join along at the end but not to sing during the show, said Tash Kenyon, an audience member.

During the closing number, somebody shouted, "Does this mean we can start singing now?" Kenyon said. A tone-deaf voice projected from the balcony and competed with the vocals of Melody Thornton, a former member of the Pussycat Dolls. Laughter then turned to anger and confusion, Karl Bradley said. "The stage then just went black again, and that's when it really started to kick off on the higher tier, you could really hear screams and audible gasps," he said. "Everyone starting standing up and looking over. There was chants of 'out, out, out' to get them gone."

When the lights came up, the unwanted backup singers were being hauled out of their seats by theater security and audience members began cheering. But the music and show were over. A spokesperson for the theater said the show was canceled because disruptive fans who refused to stay seated had spoiled the performance. Thornton posted a video on Instagram thanking respectful fans and apologizing for those who weren't. Greater Manchester Police said it spoke with the two people who were removed by security and would review evidence before taking any action.

(More The Bodyguard stories.)

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