The real cost of a punch at the Royal Opera

The real cost of a punch at the Royal Opera


norman lebrecht

January 22, 2020

Matthew Feargrieve, a hedge-fund lawyer who assaulted an underwear designer who was trying to climb into the neighbouring seat, was ordered today to pay £2,265 at Westminster Crown Court.

He was fined £900, plus £775 in costs, £500 to the victim and a £90 victim surcharge.

Cheap at the price. I might try it myself the next time someone farts beside me at the opera.



  • Malcolm James says:

    To say nothing of the disciplinary action he might face from the Law Society, assuming he is a qualified solicitor or barrister and is a member.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    The British fart at the opera? In the US we just applaud.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Farting, Norman, is not against the law. Assaulting someone is.
    Bravo for the courts.
    BTW, I’d be curious to know what a “victim surcharge” is.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    I’d actually like to meet ‘an underwear designer’!!!

  • Calvin says:

    (Legal) actions indeed have risk/reward consequences. For this this meager upside the vandalistic seat-climber revealed himself to the entire world as having all the class of a peasant from the tall rhubarbs.

    • LewesBird says:

      …whilst the vandalistic piece of gammon and his philistine, tapping-and-rocking-on-Wagner, wife, revealed themselves to the entire world as having all the class of a piece of gammon in the Waitrose bag of a philistine housewife, innit?

  • Olefaction says:

    This gives a new meaning to artsy-fartsy

  • Esther Cavett says:

    It’s a strange case because immediately after the event it was the ‘underwear designer’ who spent a night in the cells and was banned from ROH. He must have done something or had some agressive manner ?

  • Charles says:

    Hopefully Mr Feargrieve has been permanently banned from ever attending a show at the Royal Opera.

  • Sharon says:

    Have some rachmones (compassion) Norman! There may be a time, perhaps in the near future, when you become an old fart, when you yourself will be farting next to someone at the opera!