"UPDATE: As of 29 January, 2014 the Newtownabbey Borough Council has reversed the ban on the play."
Renowned theatre group The Reduced Shakespeare Company (RSC) was compelled to cancel its Bible-based play in the United Kingdom following protests from Christian fundamentalists. According to media reports, the company was scheduled to perform “The Bible: The Complete Word of God “at the Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, in the first week of February 2014.
The group, which is well known for its fast-paced satirical shows based on great texts, describes the play as “an affectionate, irreverent roller coaster ride from fig leaves to final judgment.” However, during the Council’s Policy and Governance Committee meeting on January 20, elected members raised concerns over the play being staged as many of them had received complaints from the general public about the nature and content of the show. Billy Ball, local politician from Reverend Ian Paisley’s ruling Democratic Unionist Party, urged that the “blasphemous” play be banned.
“For Christians, the Bible is the infallible word of God and it’s not something to be made fun of. These people are treating something sacred with irreverence and disrespect. My wife, councillor Audrey Ball, has recently been put on the artistic board, so I know in future she will speak up for Christianity. Those against her strong beliefs better watch out,” he said.
On January 23, the theatre announced via Twitter that the play, scheduled for February 1 and 2 had been cancelled.
Show ‘The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged)’ has been cancelled Apolgoises for any inconvience. Call BoxOffice for refund.
— Theatre at The Mill (@TheatreAtMill) January 23, 2014
While the show was scheduled, 800 seats were available over the weekend and 150 tickets had already been sold. The tentative cost of canceling the play was £2000. After the play was called off, the staff got in touch with ticket holders to tell them the show had been cancelled and inform them about possible refunds.
Photo Credits: ThatPeskyCommoner