Women kicked out of belly-dancing show in Fareham as row erupts over noise

From left, Tracy, Maha Maclaren, dancer Heike Humphreys , Sofia and Ramiah
From left, Tracy, Maha Maclaren, dancer Heike Humphreys , Sofia and Ramiah
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A ROW broke out at a theatre and the police were called after two women were asked to leave a belly-dancing show.

The incident took place at the Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham at the Bellydance and Burlesque show featuring Princess Farhana.

The women, who were part of a group of four, said they were simply enjoying the show, cheering and encouraging the dancers and chatting in Arabic.

One of the women Maha Maclaren said: ‘Every time they were dancing, we were cheering for them, and we were saying “that’s beautiful” in Arabic. We were not talking more than anybody else around us.’

Maha, who is originally from Saudi Arabia but now lives in Hedge End, said that trouble flared when they were asked to stop taking photographs on their phones by an usher.

They said they stopped immediately as they had not been aware of the rule, and had not spotted a poster warning them.

But they claim that people sitting near them then became aggressive and threatened them.

After a disagreement, complaints were made to the theatre’s management, and two of the woman – including Maha – were not allowed back into the show after the interval, prompting another row and the police being called by both sides.

Maha said: ‘I was so angry.’

A spokesperson from Hampshire Cultural Trust, which runs the venue, said the women were asked to leave because of ‘disruptive behaviour’.

The spokesman said: ‘The enjoyment and safety of all of our customers is our number one priority.

‘This group’s inappropriate behaviour resulted in complaints from other members of the audience which we had to respect and respond to.

‘Ashcroft Arts Centre was proud to host this highly successful multicultural event as part of its diverse programmes that seek to be accessible and appealing to all members of our society.’

Event organiser, Heike Humphreys, said: ‘As with all belly-dance shows, multiculturalism and an inclusive environment is not just the norm, but celebrated.

‘However, for any show, we would expect that mature adult audience members of any nationality would understand the difference between a theatrical production and a dance show being presented in a nightclub.

‘We are sorry that the actions of certain people disturbed others who were trying to enjoy the show.’

A police spokesman confirmed that they were called to the incident.

He said: ‘Officers spoke to the women who collected their things and left. This has been classed as civil dispute and as such there is no police investigation.’