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Actors in touring production of Rotterdam assaulted in homophobic attack

Two actors in a touring production of Jon Brittain’s Rotterdam were attacked on their way to a performance at the weekend, in an incident being described as a homophobic hate crime.

The incident happened on June 8, when two of the show’s cast members, Lucy Jane Parkinson [1] and Rebecca Banatvala, had stones thrown at them for hugging in the street.

According to a statement issued by Nuffield Southampton Theatres, where Rotterdam was playing as part of its tour, the “assailants verbally abused them and thew stones at them from their car window”, with one of the actors being hit in the face by a stone.

Parkinson said the attack happened because the couple had been embracing.

“There’s no mistake that this was a homophobic hate crime. It was a cowardly attack as it was a moving car,” Parkinson said, adding: “Our community shouldn’t have to tolerate this. That is why we have Pride. We should take all the steps we can in the education system to help eradicate this aggressive ignorance.”

According to the show’s Twitter feed, the couple were left “hugely shaken from this cowardly, homophobic hate crime”. The performances were cancelled as a result of the incident.

“The production have requested anyone with relevant information should contact the local police and assist with the enquiry,” it added.

The play, which is about a trans man’s relationship with a gay woman, was running at Nuffield Southampton Theatres as part of its tour. It is due to run at in Eastbourne and Manchester later this month.

Sam Hodges, artistic director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, said: “I am extremely sad that this sort of appalling behaviour is still happening anywhere, let alone in a city where we have worked so hard to promote a culture of tolerance, inclusivity and civic pride.”

In a statement, Hampshire Constabulary confirmed it had received a report from a third party relating to an incident which happened on Hill Lane in Southampton on the afternoon of June 8.

“It has been reported that homophobic abuse was shouted at two women, and stones thrown at them, by the occupants of a passing car,” the statement said.

The matter is under investigation, it added.

Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting 44190196869.

Rotterdam review at London’s Theatre 503 – ‘sweet, heartfelt and funny’ [2]