Stage News

 2018

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  A stitch in time...

European court overrules a Maltese ban on staging the play Stitching my Anthony Nelson


Link Here 16th May 2018  full story: Stage Censorship in Malta...Maltese censors ban stage play Stitching, then get disbanded
Stitching The European Court of Human Rights has overturned the Maltese courts' decision to ban the play Stitching, eight years after the controversial judgment had incensed the local artistic scene.

The ECHR awarded 10,000 as legal costs as well as 10,000 in moral damages jointly to Unifaun Theatre Productions Limited, as well as director Chris Gatt and actors Pia Zammit and Mike Basmadjian. The court's decision was unanimous, including Maltese judge Vincent de Gaetano.

Unifaun's production had been banned in 2010 by the Maltese court, a decision confirmed by the Constitutional Court of Appeal, after it was flagged by the now defunct Film and Stage Classification Board.

The Maltese court had ruled in 2010 that it was unacceptable in a democratic society founded on the rule of law for any person to be allowed to swear in public, even in a theatre as part of a script. He pointed out that the country's values could not be turned upside down in the name of freedom of expression.

The censorship of Stitching had a knock on effect to media censorship in Malta. The government had in 2012 changed the censorship laws , effectively stopping the possibility of theatrical productions being banned and lightening up on film censorship bringing it more in line with other European countries.

 

 Offsite Article: Now they want to lock up Rod Liddle and ban Quentin Letts...


Link Here 14th April 2018
Spiked logo Joking about the Welsh or criticising black actors is the new limit to free speech. By Mick Hume

See article from spiked-online.com

 

  No freedom, before or after the revolution...

Egyptian play, Before the Revolution, is banned by censors


Link Here 19th March 2018
before the revolutionEgypt's state censors have banned a play on the day of its Cairo premiere, saying it cannot be shown without the removal of five key scenes.

As a result, writer and director Ahmed El Attar cancelled performances of Before the Revolution , a two-actor piece that depicts oppression and stagnation in Egypt before its 2011 popular uprising,

In a statement, organizers say El Attar has appealed for a second censorship committee to watch the show on March 19th, asking for it to be allowed to be shown without the censor cuts, which he said heavily distorted the piece.

 

  Taking a bow...

Royal Court theatre in London pulls drama about Tibet for fear of offending China


Link Here 4th February 2018
pah laA stage drama about Tibet has been pulled by the Royal Court Theatre for fear offending China.

Abhishek Majumdar said his play Pah-la was shelved because of fears over an arts programme in Beijing. His play deals with life in contemporary Tibet and draws on personal stories of Tibetans he worked with in India,

The London theatre, once known for its groundbreaking international productions, is facing questions after Abhishek Majumdar revealed a copy of the poster for the play Pah-la , bearing the imprints of the Arts Council and the Royal Court along with text suggesting that it was due to run for a month last autumn.

Majumdar claimed the play was withdrawn because of fears over the possible impact on an arts programme in Beijing, where Chinese writers are working with the publicly funded theatre and British Council.

The play was in development for three years and rehearsals had been fixed, according to Majumdar, who claimed that the British Council had pressurised the theatre to withdraw it because of sensitivities relating to the writing programme.

The Royal Court said it had had to postpone and then withdraw Pah-la for financial reasons last year, after it had been in development for three years, and that it was now committed to producing the play in spring 2019 in the light of recent events. It added:

The Royal Court always seeks to protect and not to silence any voice. [...BUT...] In an international context, this can sometimes be more complex across communities. The Royal Court is committed to protecting free speech, sometimes within difficult situations.

 

  Censorship Diktat...

Stage play, Only a dictator is banned in Turkey's major cities


Link Here 30th January 2018
only a dictatorTurkish actor Baris Atay plays a dictator in a one-man show that is intended to get audiences thinking. The play has now been banned in several Turkish cities.

In Ankara, he was personally told not to perform. In addition, the governors of the northern Turkish cities of Artvin and Hopa have officially banned the play. As has Kadikoy, one of Istanbul's largest and most populous districts. It has been claimed that his play could be a threat to public order and security.

Only A Dictator was written by Onur Orhan and is directed by Caner Erdem. Atay plays a dictator who struggles with an inner conflict. After the show, the audience is invited to form its own opinion on dictators.

The play alludes to Turkey's present government under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Supporters of Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) took offense, expressing their anger on social media. Atay said he thinks the decision to ban the play shows how much pressure Turkey's government is willing to exert on critics.

When police prevented the play from being shown in Istanbul last week, Atay alluded to his 2015 statement, asking: Do you accept that this ban means our president is a dictator?

 

  No I'm not free...

Hull Theatre bans 'Are You Being Served?' as sexist


Link Here 27th January 2018
Are You Being Served? DVD A stage version of Are You Being Served? has been banned for being sexist. The Hull Playgoers' Society had planned to stage a version of the BBC sitcom at the city's Truck Theatre.

But venue censors reportedly told producers that its script needed to be more politically correct.

Vince Matfin, the artistic director of the Hull Playgoers' Society, accused the theatre of censorship.

The venue said they had asked to meet with the producers to discuss their choice of performance and how this aligns against our artistic policy and values. The theatre's censorship policy states:

We are committed to presenting work that reflects the diverse communities and artists that populate our nation. We will not book work that does not meet the overall values of the theatre or that does not reflect the diversity and inclusion of a modern Britain.'

 

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