Cast and crew of The Lion King subjected to racial abuse in Dublin, theatre says

Members were returning home from Bord Gáis Energy Theatre when incident occurred

Several performers and crew members from The Lion King production currently being staged in Dublin were recently subjected to verbal racial abuse while returning home from work at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, the theatre has said.

The Lion King production opened in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on December 31st and has a six-week run, ending on February 4th.

According to gardaí, a group of male youths verbally abused members of staff as they were leaving their place of work, shortly before 11pm on Friday, January 28th, at Hanover Quay in Dublin.

The theatre and the production company behind The Lion King said they were working to support those affected by the incident.

In a statement, the theatre said it was “saddened” to share news of the incident. “It is shocking that something so vile and appalling happened to our colleagues who have brought such joy to thousands of theatregoers since the show opened on December 31st,” it said.

"Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and Disney Theatrical Productions strongly condemn all forms of discrimination. We fully stand with the performers and crew and have put plans in place to support those affected by this incident."

The theatre also urged that those responsible be held accountable.

The statement said that over the last 25 years, The Lion King musical has been “a beacon of optimism and inclusion across the globe”.

“Its very presence and the vision of the world that our audience experiences while watching the show is in itself an instrument to change hearts and minds,” it added.

The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and Disney Theatrical Productions will make a donation to the Irish Network Against Racism (Inar) following the incident, the statement said.

The theatre said they could not comment any further on the incident, as the case is now with gardaí.

Garda investigation

A Garda spokesman confirmed officers from Pearse Street station are investigating reports of a public order incident at Hanover Street East, Dublin 2, on Friday last.

No arrests have been made to date and inquiries are ongoing, the spokesman said.

Anyone with relevant information is asked to contact Pearse Street Garda station on 01-6669000 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666111.

Shane O'Curry, director of Inar, said he is "naturally appalled that this has happened yet again, but unfortunately not surprised".

"This is something that is all too commonplace for people from minoritised backgrounds in Ireland. It's all the sadder that the cast and crew for The Lion King are largely people drawn from outside of Ireland, which gives a very poor impression of Ireland," he said.

“The risk of these things happening is very real and they have very, very serious consequences.”

Mr O’Curry said Inar is currently in discussions with the theatre to see how the theatre can support the network’s “Love Not Hate” campaign, which calls on the Government to enact hate crime legislation.