Omid Djalili pulled out of a show on Thursday (October 19), after the venue cited “personal threats due to the situation in Israel”.
The comedian was set to perform at the Festival Drayton Centre in Market Drayton, Shropshire, but just hours before he was due to take to the stage, the venue announced the cancellation.
Speaking to the Shropshire Star, venue manager Jodie Rudd said: “Due to security threats made against Omid Djalili, tonight’s performance at the Festival Drayton Centre has had to be cancelled.”
The centre has since revised their original statement, now saying that the decision was taken due to “circumstances beyond control”. They have said they are reaching out to ticket holders and would issue refunds next week.
Meanwhile, Djalili commented on the cancellation on X/Twitter, writing: “Never thought I’d ever say ‘I’m going to N. Ireland for stand up gigs coz it’s way safer’”, referencing his forthcoming shows in the country scheduled to take place after the Market Drayton gig.
— Omid Djalili (@omid9) October 20, 2023
West Mercia Police have said they have not received any reports of concerns relating to the show in question.
Djalili’s representatives are yet to respond to NME‘s request for comment.
The entertainer, who has appeared in films including Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Notting Hill and The World is Not Enough, was to perform his ‘Omid Djalili and Friends!’ show at the venue. Remaining dates in Derry, Belfast, Dublin and Galway are still scheduled to go ahead.
Earlier this month (October 7), the Palestinian militant organisation Hamas launched an early morning attack on southern Israel that has gone on to trigger an Israel-Hamas war.
Djalili, 58, who was born in London to Iranian parents, has been vocal on social media about the conflict. On Wednesday, he posted on X, formerly Twitter, “The ONLY action we have now – as humanity – is to call for an immediate ceasefire…Any speculation on this ‘report’ or that ‘report’ on who is to blame makes no difference other than fuel a fire that is soon going to envelop the whole world”.
The conflict has gone into utterly unprecedented territory. The ONLY action we have now – as humanity – is to call for an immediate ceasefire. There literally is no other thing to do or say at this point. Any speculation on this ‘report’ or that ‘report’ on who is to blame makes…
— Omid Djalili (@omid9) October 18, 2023
It was also announced this week that this year’s MTV Europe Music Awards have been called off due to “the volatility of world events”. They were due to take place at Paris’ Nord Villepinte venue on November 5. The organisers have confirmed that voting for the awards is still going ahead and winners will receive their awards.
Omid Djalili’s remaining live dates:
24: Millennium Forum, Derry
25: Ulster Hall, Belfast
26: Vicar Street, Dublin
27: Town Hall, Galway
7: Gotham Comedy Club, New York