Met Police could launch investigation into Soho Theatre after Jewish audience member was ‘hounded out’ by comedian Paul Currie – as comic shares praise for his incendiary routine online
The Metropolitan Police have confirmed they may investigate an incident at London’s Soho theater involving a comedian who demanded a Jewish audience member leave his show after refusing to stand up and display a Palestinian flag to cheer
‘Absurdist’ comedian Paul Currie is accused of encouraging the crowd to chant ‘get the f*** out’ and ‘free Palestine’ at Israeli ticket holder Liahav Eitan at the central London theater on Saturday night.
Mr Eitan, who was on his way to celebrate his 33rd birthday with a friend, told MailOnline how he feared Currie was going to ‘punch him’ and was left horrified by the ‘mob mentality’ of the crowd.
The shocking incident happened in front of around 200 people at the end of Currie’s one-hour show when he unfurled a Ukraine flag and then a Palestinian flag before demanding a standing ovation from the crowd.
Audience members were left ‘unsettled’ when he then confronted Mr Eitan and his friend for remaining seated. He then told them to leave his show and led pro-Palestinian chants as they fled the venue across the stage.
Currie, who performed hours after attending a pro-Palestine rally in London, doubled down on his performance by sharing praise for his fiery routine.
He retweeted another comic’s Instagram story last night saying: ‘Thank you @paulcurriecomedian for a great show on Saturday and for now unapologetically asking for a truce.’
Liahav Eitan (pictured) was chased out of London’s Soho theater after comedian Paul Currie encouraged his audience to chant ‘get the f*** out’ and ‘free Palestine’.
Paul Currie at a pro-Palestine march hours before he performs at London’s Soho Theater on Saturday
Currie, who performed hours after attending a pro-Palestine rally in London, doubled down on his performance by sharing praise for his fiery routine
Following the shocking scenes at the theatre, which is a former synagogue, a spokesman for the Met Police told MailOnline: ‘We are aware of the incident which took place at the Soho Theater on Saturday night.
“We understand why this was upsetting for those involved and we note that the venue has issued a statement confirming they are looking into what happened. A report was submitted to the police on Monday and investigations are ongoing.’
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline on Monday, Mr Eitan, who moved to London from Israel five years ago, said: ‘I don’t think theaters should book this person (Currie). He looked violent and dangerous.’
The software engineer, whose seats were behind Currie, added: ‘The only way out was through the stage. We actually had to get quite close to him on stage – and I was quite afraid he was going to throw a punch because he was still swearing and shouting.
“He held out his Palestinian flag again and yelled ‘mo***er you’re going to have to look at it again on your way out.’
Mr. Eitan and his friend fled the Soho theater to Bloomsbury in an attempt to move away from the venue, where the crowd poured out and some gave them ‘unfriendly looks’.
He continued: ‘From the audience we were mostly scared. We wanted to get out of the situation. It seemed like a bit of a mob mentality that could turn sour at any moment.
‘So we were just afraid of violence. That’s why we didn’t linger? We just wanted to get out of there.’
Paul Currie is an ‘absurdist’ comedian from Belfast. He allegedly told an Israeli man and his friends to leave his show
Mr Eitan added: ‘(We were) mostly scared about how that room could turn against us. From the comedian I didn’t feel like I thought it really reflected on him rather than us.’
Recalling how the night went, Mr Eitan explained how he and his friend booked tickets to see Currie at the last minute because they had time to kill before a birthday dinner at 9.30pm.
Mr. Eitan said that although the show was ‘bizarre’, all was well until Currie unfurled the flags and asked the audience to stand up.
He said he didn’t believe it was fair to compare the Palestine and Ukraine conflicts, but he just sat back and did nothing.
The incident comes amid heightened tensions as the Israel-Hamas conflict continues.
Mr Eitan continued: ‘If I had been closer to the door I might have left at that point. But as it was, I only waited five minutes for the show to end.
‘When it ended, many of the people stood up and clapped. There was a bit of a standing ovation there and my friends and I just kept quiet and didn’t clap.
“I didn’t mean to make any point, did I? i just have didn’t really enjoy that bit.’
Currie, who regularly shares pro-Palestine content on social media, is then said to have shown his appreciation to the crowd for coming before sarcastically thanking Mr Eitan and his friend for not standing up and clapping not.
The Soho Theater was where the shocking incident took place. It also used to be a synagogue
The Soho Theater issued a full apology for the incident and said they would investigate
Mr Eitan said Currie ‘wandered’ at them for around five to 10 seconds before he replied: ‘Thanks for that Palestinian flag’.
Currie then looked ‘quite stunned’ and asked Mr Eitan if he was being sarcastic.
‘Then he said something like: ‘Okay, well, you’re welcome. You are welcome for the Palestinian flag. It was part of the show.’
‘And then he came up to me again and said, “Did you enjoy the show?” I said, “Yes, up to that point”. And he said, “Oh to that point.”
‘Then he just turns back to me and starts shouting: ‘I’m from Belfast. I know all about truce. Cease fire now, get the hell out of my theater. Get out, get the f*** out of my show, mother ***ers.’
Mr Eitan said he then asked his friend if they should grab their things and leave before they tried to leave quietly.
“Unfortunately, when the whole crowd was still inside, the only way out was through the stage,” he added.
Mr Eitan got close to the comedian on stage and said Currie started a ‘public chant of ‘now cease fire and free Palestine’ as he ‘tried to incite the crowd’.
He added: ‘I didn’t look at him on the way out. We just left.’
Mr Eitan said Currie should ‘definitely’ be reprimanded for his ‘unreasonable and unprofessional behaviour’.
The Soho Theater has apologized for the ‘upset and hurt’ caused to some of their patrons by the incident and will investigate what happened.
They wrote: ‘We are sorry and saddened by an incident that took place at our venue at the end of a show of Paul Currie: Shtoom on Saturday 10th February, which caused distress and hurt to members of the audience and others.
‘We are taking this very seriously and are investigating the detail of what happened as thoroughly, as sensitively and as quickly as we can.
‘It is important to us that Soho Theater is a welcoming and inclusive place for everyone.’
Campaign Against Antisemitism said it was helping Jewish patrons who were allegedly chased out of the Soho theater in London.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: ‘What the Jewish audience members have been told is appalling, and we are working with them and our lawyers to ensure that those who instigated and enabled it are brought to justice.
‘These allegations are of deeply disturbing discriminatory abuse against Jews. Comedians are rightly given wide latitude, but chasing Jews out of theaters is reminiscent of humanity’s darkest days, and has no place in central London in 2024.’
The Israel-Hamas conflict was triggered by the Palestinian terrorist group’s October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the death of 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians.
The Hamas-controlled territory’s health ministry says Israel’s offensive has killed at least 28,340 people in Gaza, mostly women and children.
MailOnline has contacted Paul Currie for comment.