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Follies star Peter Forbes: ‘We all need to call out inappropriate behaviour’

Philip Quast with Peter Forbes in Follies. Photo: Tristram Kenton Philip Quast and Peter Forbes in Follies at the National Theatre. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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Follies star Peter Forbes has urged people working in theatre who witness inappropriate behaviour to “call it out”.

The actor was speaking at a platform on Follies at the National Theatre in London with co-star Imelda Staunton, chaired by director Paulette Randall.

Asked about the recent conversation on sexual harassment within the industry, he said: “Ultimately [the conversation] is a positive thing, I think we’ve had quite a cultural shift.

“Not just in our industry, which is quite high profile, people are fascinated by it, but it’s happening in offices all over the country, it’s happening in shops, it’s happening everywhere, and I think that it’s right we’re addressing it.”

He added: “I’ve been very lucky in my career, I’ve not experienced it, I’ve not really witnessed it, and when I have witnessed somebody saying something that I felt was inappropriate, I’ve tried to call it out and say I don’t think that’s right. I think we’ve all got to do that more, definitely, but I also think that our industry is addressing it, and was very quick to start to address it.”

Staunton agreed that the industry had “responded very well indeed” and taken allegations of inappropriate behaviour seriously.

“I’ve never experienced it, and I’m delighted that people are speaking out,” she said.

“This is across all businesses and all walks of life, let’s face it. It is being dealt with, hopefully, as intelligently and sensitively as it can be,” she added.

Click here for all The Stage’s coverage of harassment in the theatre industry and advice on who to contact if you or someone you know has been a victim.