'A West End theatre was today accused of 'ruining' plays by issuing content warnings about disturbing scenes to avoid audiences becoming upset.
The Donmar Warehouse has started a trial giving guidance to theatregoers about potentially distressing scenes such as sexual assault, racism and violence.
The theatre in London's Covent Garden has insisted the advisories are to ensure 'everybody feels comfortable' and the plays are 'as accessible as possible'.
But theatre critic Mark Shenton, president of the Critics' Circle, told the Guardian that the controversial move was a bad idea, saying: 'Theatre is all about surprise.
'By accommodating the sensitivities of some of its audience it could be ruining that surprise. You can't protect people from everything. It will ruin the theatre.'
Terri Paddock, founder of the Mytheatremates website for theatre bloggers, added: 'I feel it might actually harm our cause of liberalism rather than help us.'
She insisted she backed the trial, but was concerned it would be twisted by some critics as 'an over-reach, or over-sensitivity, or political correctness gone mad'.
Among the advisories are a series of notes for its play Europe, which advised: 'This play contains strong language, loud noises, flashing lights, smoking and violence.
'The themes in this play include war, sexual assault and violence towards migrants. If you would like more details, please see the additional information below.'
Read more: Theatre's warning for snowflakes: London playhouse gives heads up on scenes with drinking, smoking and violence so audiences aren't upset
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