Support for Halifax theatre company after complaint Shakespeare play was too 'Yorkshire'

Northern Broadsides' production of As You Like it Credit: Andrew Billington

Staff at a Yorkshire theatre company say they were left "bemused" after an audience member walked out of a production of Shakespeare in protest at their cast's Yorkshire accents.

York Theatre Royal revealed that the customer demanded a refund after the showing of As You Like It by Halifax-based Northern Broadsides.

The theatre's chief executive Tom Bird tweeted: "We've got a complaint this morning... from someone who left after an hour of As You Like It last week, because it had 'Yorkshire accents' in it.

"That's Yorkshire accents, right here in Yorkshire. They want a refund."

Jess Rooney, Northern Broadsides' communications manager, said: "We were quite bemused to begin with, but it made us think that it's so important to do the work that we do."

The company's website clearly states that it aims to "make bold, radical and accessible productions of classic and new plays with big cast sizes, performed in northern accents".

Northern Broadsides cast in As You Like It Credit: Andrew Billington

Cast members come from across the north, performing dialogue in a range of regional accents.

Miss Rooney said: "In the past regional actors played fools or court jesters. We have them playing kings and queens."

The company has received a wave of support following the walk-out and says it hopes to harness that to promote the work that it does.

Miss Rooney said: "Most people love what we do and this complaint has helped to spread the word."

The company's next showing of As You Like it is in Clwyd, Wales, on 13 April.