Fylde DJ who disrupted Preston Harris Museum fringe play by screaming ‘liar’ at fracking protester launches court appeal
A DJ entertainer convicted of public order offences after disrupting a performance during the Lancashire Fringe festival is appealing his conviction.
The performance of ‘Nannas with Banners’ at Preston’ s Harris Museum on May 22, 2019, was interrupted as Geza David Tarjanyi – who also calls himself Gayzer Frackman – entered the performance area, filming and shouting comments towards the women, particularly a campaigner called Tina Rothery.
Prosecuting, Cecilia Pritchard told Preston Crown Court was told Tarjyani and some cast members knew each other as they had taken part at previous protests at the Preston New Road Cuadrilla site, but there had been a ‘falling out’.
Footage from his own camera, which he later uploaded onto Facebook, shows him filming from on a balcony at the museum as their monologues performance took place, before descending and turning the camera to himself, saying: “Just to let you know this is exactly what we are going to do – to stop the lie. No more pain no more fear.”
He then walked onto the round stage area shouting: “I’ve seen enough of this lie, stop the lie. “This is a lie, You’re a liar Tina Rothery.”
In the confusion – which some thought might be part of the play – there was scuffling and shouting as members of the audience apprehended him. He knocked over a stage light and was escorted out of the building.
Tarjanyi, 58, formerly of Lytham but now of Boundary Street, Leyland, had denied using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause Tina Rothery to fear immediate unlawful violence would be used on May 22, and a further charge of using threatening behaviour, but was convicted after a trial at Preston Magistrates’ Court. He launched an appeal but did not attend the hearing at Preston Crown Court.
Five witnesses were called to give evidence.
Cast member Audrey O’Gara said: “What upset me most was I was sat next to a gentleman with two children and the little boy was really scared, so I was looking at him trying to reassure him everything was all right. There was also one of the ladies in the audience, who had been very ill, and it was her monologue that was interrupted – she was really upset.”
The show’s writer Joanne Catlow-Morris, told the court she had written the performance addressing how the women had become empowered by being activists about fracking.
She added: ” We saw a figure coming towards us from the darkness. I could see it was a male and at first – obviously I was sat in the middle of the play – my first initial thought was ‘I think its security, I think we’re going to be evacuated.’ “I could see the person had something in his hand and thought ‘Oh my God, what is it?’ “He ran onto the stage and started yelling: ‘Lies, lies, lies.” “It was just terrifying not knowing what was happening.”
Defending, Matthew Conway asked if, given the play’s theme was about protesting, someone protesting on stage could have been seen to be part of the performance.
She replied: “Maybe by the audience but not by the actors on stage. It didn’t feel like a protest, it felt like an infringement on my creative activity.”
Giving evidence by a video link, Tina Rothery, who was not part of the play but was in the audience, said: ” People I cared about were being defamed in public. We were all scared. “I felt he’d progressed from what I’d been enduring until that point to much more. “I am deeply upset by him, and fearful.”