Thursday, 23 January 2014

Sharia Law: DUP Style

The DUP have a narrow view of the arts, I fully expect them to be up in arms about the play that I am writing.Currently we have the issue over The reduced Shakespeare Company.

They are due to bring The Bible: The Complete Word of God Abridged to Newtownabbey's Theatre at the Mill next week for a two day run. Now if anyone who has ever seen any of The Reduced Shakespeare Company productions know whether the bard himself, the history of America, all the books you need to read whatever will know that all these works are abridged dramatisations of the subject matter done in a light hearted way. However, they are also rather scholarly pieces of satire in that the writers have researched their source material and picked up on some of the obscure while at the same time presenting the familiar in a different way in order to cover everything in the 90 minutes that most of their shows last.

This show has been doing the rounds since 1995, I saw it in London. As someone who has been involved in Christian drama (where probably in the eyes of the DUP I have mocked the bible) who has dramatised some of the biblical stories in an accessible way I see no harm in what they did. When watching any of their shows (I believe I have seen five of them) the inquiring mind, such as mine, does ask more questions about parts of the production that they do highlight.

So if the DUP want to ban this production where was the outrage when a teenage me played a Welsh* vandal about to graffiti the walls of Jericho before they came down? Oh, hand on they were present when one of the church elders at the time, a DUP councillor objected to all drama in the church. Thankfully the church saw sense and used it as a tool.

However, if as the Free Presbyterian Minister Brian McClurg says it is unacceptably hurtful to some Christians in the area then they shouldn't go, just as what is preached maybe from their pulpits might be unacceptably hurtful to some members of society from time to time. However, as has been pointed out the show has been advertised for some time and only now with a week to go are the DUP looking at banning it from the stage, so there will be costs incurred both by the theatre and the touring company, so who is going to foot their bills and cancellation fees etc.

Update: The tweet from the Theatre at the Mill says that the show has been cancelled. In a year in which touring productions had failed to come to Northern Ireland due to economic reasons, cancelling shows due to other reasons cannot be great for Northern Irish theatres long term future.

* Yes during one week I played six roles in six different accents.

No comments:

Post a Comment