Several cast and audience members of Lane Cove Theatre Company’s play ‘Holding the Man’ in Sydney’s north say they returned to their cars on Saturday to find their tyres had been slashed.
The Lane Cove Theatre Company posted photos of the damage on Facebook following the incident and condemned the act.
“Here is a photo of one of the vandalised tyres,” the Lane Cove Theatre Company posted on Facebook on Sunday.
“This car belongs to one of our audience members, who came to the theatre last night to have a good time and instead suffered significant property damage, as did many others.’
“At Lane Cove Theatre Company we publicly condemn the actions taken against our audience members’, cast and crew members’ property in protest against the content of HOLDING THE MAN,” another post read.
“We cannot condone or allow such vitriolic attacks to occur, especially in a suburb that has long upheld itself as welcoming and inclusive.”
President of the Lane Cove Theatre Company Lochie Beh said he had his car targeted, but said the overwhelming support from local and international representatives has been “beautiful”.
“It was incredibly disappointing to walk out and find out the cast and crew, as well as my own car, but also patrons’ cars had been targeted,” he told SBS World News.
“People had just come to see the play in a quiet suburb, but found out that they were targeted by a cowardly act.”
“The community has shown an absolutely overwhelming display of support. I can honestly say from local business to national business, to local politicians to Federal politicians, we have had an absolutely incredible response.”
Lochie said support has come from all over the world and there has been a positive to come out of the incident.
“We have actually had messages from the United States, the United Kingdom and messages from all over Australia saying this act is not acceptable in any shape or form.”
“I hope with all my heart, following the amount of support shown during this incident, that marriage equality is accepted. When you stop to think about the support, it’s been absolutely phenomenal.”
North Sydney MP Trent Zimmerman, who attended the play that evening, spoke out against the act.
In a Facebook post he wrote, “It’s been overshadowed by a series of hateful attacks – first posters for the show were vandalised across Lane Cove and last night patrons and members of the cast and crew found their tyres slashed outside St Aidan’s where it is being performed.
“At least 12 cars were attacked. This type of behaviour has no place in our local community and should be condemned. Just disgraceful that any person would be targeted in this way.”
The play is based on Timothy Conigrave’s celebrated memoirs that addressed a relationship across multiple generations, sexual preferences and cultures.
The Lane Cove play has been adapted by Tommy Murphy and is directed by Kathryn Thomas.
There were also reports that posters advertising the play had been pulled down in Lane Cove.
Police are currently investigating the incident and will be looking to find out if it was a bias motivated act.
SBS World News has contacted The Lane Cove Theatre Company for comment.