The Bombay High Court is hearing a case challenging the Maharashtra state law requiring that stage plays be pre-censored by
the Maharashtra State Performance Scrutiny Board.
In fact the government had last month orally informed the court that as per a notification issued in March this year, pre-censorship of plays and dramas was no longer mandatory. But the government have been slow in backing up the oral statement with
The Bombay High Court has now given Maharashtra government am October 18th deadline for providing written confirmation as an affidavit for the court.
Media reports suggest that it is the redundancy threatened Maharashtra State Performance Scrutiny Board that is objecting to the government's notification, and hence delaying proceedings.
An upcoming student production of Aida at Music Theatre Bristol has been cancelled in the wake of
ludicrous politically correct concerns about 'cultural appropriation'.
The opera was originally selected in a ballot of members of the company, however the decision has been made that it will not be presented to the general public. MTB said:
It is a great shame that we have had to cancel this show as of course we would not want to cause offence in any way as that was never our intention. Our intention was to tell this story, one which, surely is better heard than not performed.
However, some groups felt that this was an overreaction. Conrad Young, admin of Bristol Against Censorship, said:
Although MTB seemed to approach a sensitive topic with great humility and care, Aida was not to be. The affect that the fear of cultural appropriation has on modern campuses is a sad affair and in this case has damaged the student experience of the
people involved and the prospective student audiences.
Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been fined £1,000 for making a joke about a black security
guard at a public event.
Gascoigne joked abut Errol Rowe, a security guard, during his An Evening with Gazza show, by asking him: Can you smile please, because I can't see you?
Ordering Gascoigne to pay Rowe £1,000 in compensation, District Judge Graham Wilkinson lectured Gascoigne:
You sought to get a laugh from an audience of over 1,000 people because of the colour of Mr Rowe's skin. Mr Rowe was clearly humiliated on stage, as part of an act.
As a society it is important that we challenge racially aggravated behaviour in all its forms. It is the creeping 'low-level' racism that society still needs to challenge. A message needs to be sent that in the 21st century society that we live in, such
action, such words will not be tolerated.
It is not acceptable to laugh words like this off as some form of joke.
Ordering Gascoigne to pay a £100 victim surcharge and a £500 contribution to the cost of the prosecution. Gascoigne has pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence
Offsite Comment: The state's war on amateur comedians
Canadian comedian Mike Ward has launched a crowdfunding appeal to help pay his legal costs after being fined for cracking a bad-taste joke against a disabled teenager.
Montreal's misleadingly named 'Human Rights' Tribunal ordered the comic to pay Jérémy Gabriel $35,000 (£20,000) for the hurt caused, and another $7,000 (£4,000) to Gabriel's mother, Sylvie.
However, Ward has refused to pay, and plans to launch an appeal. He says his stance has pushed his legal costs up to $93,000 (£54,000) which he is now hoping to cover from his fans and supporters. Writing on GoFundMe, Ward said:
I told a joke. Was it in bad taste? Yes. Comedians should be allowed to tell jokes, even crass, hurtful ones. Hurt feelings shouldn't dictate what a comedian can or can not do on stage.
I've already spent 93 thousand dollars to make sure I don't have to pay 42K... I'm either really bad at math or I take free speech pretty goddamn seriously.
The jokes that landed him in trouble were aimed at Gabriel, who was born with a skull deformity called Treacher Collins syndrome. He became well-known in Quebec after he was flown to Rome to sing for Pope Benedict in 2006. One gag in Ward s'eXpose tour
and 2012 special was about Gabriel getting so much attention over his condition but now, five years later, and he's still not dead! ... Me, I defended him, like an idiot, and he won't die!".
'Justice' Scott Hughes found that the French-language routine went beyond the limits that a reasonable person must tolerate in the name of freedom of expression .
Ward will perform a show at the Edinburgh Fringe next week about his freedom of speech battles.
A brief kiss between two male actors in the musical Les Miserables in Singapore has been censored from the show. The scene involved a brief peck on the lips during the song Beggars at the Feast.
After being told it violated its General rating, the producers decided to remove the kiss, the theatre censors at the Media Development Authority (MDA) said. The censors explained:
The inclusion of the same-sex kiss was not highlighted in the script when it was submitted to MDA for classification. The performance was thus given a 'General' rating, MDA said. MDA will take action against this breach of licensing conditions.
Gay discrimination seems to be falling rapidly down the PC pecking order and gay related content suddenly seems up for censorship throughout the world.
A book about censorship in British drama has won this year's Theatre Book Prize.
The award, which honours books from the previous year, went to The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 by Steve Nicholson. It was based on files from the Lord Chamberlain's office based in the British Library.
Colin Chambers, former literary manager of the Royal Court in London, described the winning book as a detailed account of how theatre and society interact, seen through the prism of censorship .