Kevin Spacey snaps at phone call during performance

Kevin Spacey. Photo/AP.
Kevin Spacey. Photo/AP.

Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey has reprimanded an audience member guilty of leaving their mobile phone on during the opening night of his one-man show.

The House Of Cards actor is currently starring in the legal drama Clarence Darrow to celebrate the end of his 10 years as artistic director of The Old Vic theatre in London.

During a scene in which his lawyer character is on trial defending himself, Spacey was addressing the audience with a passionate plea for his innocence when a mobile phone began ringing.

The music got louder and louder as the guilty party tried to look innocent, until Spacey finally snapped, in character: "If you don't answer that, I will!"

He received a round of applause.

Performing in the round, Spacey had the audience hanging on his every word as he moved between engaging chats and witty anecdotes, to emotional confessions and rousing speeches.

The 54-year-old star's commanding performance earned him a standing ovation last night.

But it's not the first time a famous actor has taken a stand against noise interrupting their performance.

Here are a few famous audience noise faux pas:

1. The showstopping performance in A Steady Rain by Hollywood stars Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig was interrupted by a mobile phone call, and the footage became an internet hit.

The footage - which itself seems to have been taken with a mobile - was posted on YouTube, showing how they halt their usual dialogue until the ringing stops.

Jackman asked the owner of the ringing phone, "You want to get that?", as the audience laughed and cheered. As the ringing continued, Jackman paced the stage and pleaded: "Come on, just turn it off."

Craig then joined in with the ad libs at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, asking: "Can you get that, whoever that is, can you get it? We can wait, just get the phone."

"Don't be embarrassed, just grab the phone," Jackman urged. The pair had to wait about a minute for the ringing to stop.

2. Last May, Dame Helen Mirren shouted at a group of drummers to be quiet while still dressed in her stage costume as Queen Elizabeth II.

The troupe of dancing drummers, who were promoting a festival for gay and transgender people, were stunned when Dame Helen went outside during the interval of The Audience and told them in colourful language to be quiet.

The next day she arrived at the theatre wearing a T-shirt supporting them, and admitted using "a few thespian words". She said the group were "very sweet and stopped the minute they knew I wasn't just a batty old woman haranguing them on the streets of Soho".

3. In 2012, famed director Sir Peter Hall apologised to Downton Abbey actress Laura Carmichael after he "unintentionally disrupted" the star during her West End stage debut.

The actress, who shot to fame as Downton's Lady Edith Crawley, continued her closing monologue in the Chekhov classic Uncle Vanya, despite a commotion caused by Sir Peter.

The theatre veteran, then 81, denied reports that he heckled the actress during the performance and said he was "disorientated" after falling asleep. He said in a statement: "I am mortified that I unintentionally disrupted the final scene of Uncle Vanya and I have sent a personal note to Laura Carmichael offering my apologies.

"I enjoyed the evening, and her performance, immensely, and I cannot stress too strongly that my remarks were in no way directed at her or the production."

Sir Peter, who founded the Royal Shakespeare Company and directed the National Theatre, said: "Being rather aged, I dropped off for a moment and on being woken by my wife I was briefly disorientated.

"Remarks made in the resulting confusion were not in any way related to Uncle Vanya which I think is a very fine production with a marvellous company of actors."

- PPA

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