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Actor stages protest over homophobic heckling

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Aug 05, 2013 | 11:01am EDT

The star of West End play The American Plan staged an impromptu protest at the end of the production after an audience member heckled him during a same-sex kiss. Mark Edel-Hunt, 29, was furious when he locked lips with a fellow actor in a key scene and heard someone shout from the stalls, "This makes me sick", so he crafted a sign using eye-liner and placed it on the stage at the end of the play. The makeshift placard was emblazoned with the words "Some people are gay, get over it!", which is the slogan of gay rights group Stonewall. Edel-Hunt tells the London Evening Standard newspaper, "There is always a shock and vocal reaction from the audience (during that scene) that's to do with the play because it's a really big surprise - you don't see it coming. But this time it progressed and a chap (man) in the audience whispered - so everyone could hear him - 'This makes me sick.' I felt angry, but I didn't want to spoil the event for everyone else so I soldiered on. It niggled me, however, because you can't just let that be said and not speak back. It was so repugnant to my mind, I had to answer back..." The actor's sign prompted a massive cheer from the audience at the St James Theatre, and he was pleased by the support he received, adding, "It was my decision and I stick by it. The whole cast have been really supportive and the cheer we got from the audience afterwards was great. It's great to see his was a minority voice, although it's sad these voices still exist." Stonewall representative Andy Wasley adds, "It's great to see a spirited response to such offensive behaviour."

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