Outrage After a New Zealand Theatre Alters JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, Sir Tim Rice Responds
New Zealand's Artsplash Festival has found itself in a bit of trouble due to inexplicable artistic choices made in their production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The Times of Israel reports that the company had replaced the word 'Israel' in 'Close Every Door' with the word 'kindness,' altering the lyric to 'Children of Kindness.'
The change was discovered by Twitter user Kate Dowling who brought lyricist Sir Tim Rice into the conversation as she asked for explanation.
"Children of Israel" has been changed to "Children of Kindness". Why opt to do a Jewish-themed song then remove the Jewish-themed lyric? pic.twitter.com/Ur3cdonprK- Kate Dowling (@Kate_DowlingNZ) June 15, 2017
Rice responded with equal confusion and clarified that the theatre had no right to change the written word.
Tim Rice (@SirTimRice) June 16, 2017
Festival coordinator Mary Prichard did not explain their reasoning behind the change, saying only that they were trying to keep things simple. She insisted they did not find the use of the word 'Israel' problematic. She also revealed that the festival cut three songs from the show as well, saying only that "It's not worth going there. It's not worth looking for trouble."
Sir Tim Rice also responded to the news of the cut songs with frustration, urging the festival to do the show as written or not at all.
Tim Rice (@SirTimRice) June 17, 2017
The city council sponsoring the production intervened and assured Rice that the show would be done properly, a previous tweet calling the edits 'an error in judgement.'
Apologies again - we've told the organisers today that the original songs must go back in the programme. This will happen!- Wgtn City Council (@WgtnCC) June 18, 2017
Coordinator Prichard apologized via Facebook, saying "You have my complete assurance that this was an unintentional and innocent error on the part of one of my team, and I apologise for it. The person concerned, and myself for that matter, are religious people and would never consider intentionally doing anything racist or anti any religion."
To read more, visit The Times of Israel here.