Israeli Show Banned By Edinburgh Fringe

Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
From link:

A show by an Israeli theatre group has been cancelled by the venue after protesters disrupted other nearby events.

The show was due to take place as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, an annual cultural festival in the Scottish capital that celebrates theatre, music and comedy. However, the Underbelly theatre was forced to cancel all performances of ‘The City’ by the Incubator Theatre group after anti-Israel demonstrators gathered outside, disrupting nearby events.

Described as “Humphrey Bogart meets Jay-Z in a gritty and darkly comic whodunit hip-hop opera”, ‘The City’ did not have political content yet various Scottish cultural figures called for a boycott as the Incubator Theatre group receives part of its funding from the Israeli Ministry of Culture.


Link
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
Updated On: 8/3/14 at 10:45 AM
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
Politics aside, I think based on this:

Humphrey Bogart meets Jay-Z in a gritty and darkly comic whodunit hip-hop opera

we're probably all better off they cancelled it.



....but the world goes 'round
Updated On: 8/1/14 at 10:47 AM
mamaleh
Broadway Star
joined:5/11/04
It sounds like an interesting mix with good comic possibilities. Too bad the festival organizers chickened out and gave in to lowlifes.

Maybe to please the mob their next season will consist of only Rachel Corrie, Disgraced and The Who and the What. And of course Modern Terrorism or They Who Want to Kill Us and How We Learn to Love Them.

Updated On: 8/1/14 at 11:02 AM
devonian.t
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/04
I know it may seem a small nuance, but the Edinburgh Fringe did not ban the show. The Edinburgh Fringe is the umbrella organisation for over 3000 shows, but it it has not artistic or managerial input.

The venue is autonomous, so if anyone "banned" the show it would be that one venue, but it sounds like it wasn't so much a ban as an exit from a contract.
finebydesign
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/07
I'm curious as to what Goth is getting at here. It is my understanding he is on the far right. Shouldn't the ban be allowed if the organization wants to ban it?
NewYorkTheater
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/10
When I read this story in the British press, I was outraged. The boycott against the theater company was entirely because its members were Israeli, not at all to do with the content of their show-- as if these individuals should be held responsible for the actions of their government. (Would you like to be treated this way because of some policy of, say, the U.S. State Department?) And then the Edinburgh venue capitulated not because they agreed with the reasoning behind the boycott, but ...why? I'm not sure. I think it was to avoid conflict.
The Edinburgh Fringe should be embarrassed.

Updated On: 8/1/14 at 01:15 PM
devonian.t
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/04
Once again, it is nothing to do with the vast majority of the 15,000 shows which constitute the Edinburgh Fringe. This is a decision made by one theatre's management.

You are castigating an entity which is no way responsible for the decisions that have been made.
NewYorkTheater
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/10
If one theater in the Fringe chose to ban black people from attending any of its performances, this action would (should) embarrass "the Edinburgh Fringe," whatever the lines of authority are. I don't see how this is any different.
The Fringe festival is overseen by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, which has a board of directors and a chairman of that board. At the very least, they could have issued a statement.
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Why? So you can have an explanation? They don't owe you anything, they have a right to do whatever they want, even if most people think it's wrong. Also, Israel is not a race of people, it's not the same thing.
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
"I'm curious as to what Goth is getting at here."

Just opening up discussion. There are so many issues to unpack here.

Is this anti-Semitism?

Isn't art (and aren't artists) supposed to be free enough to allow all points of view?

Would this be acceptable if the company were gays or blacks or women?

Was this a public safety issue?
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
NewYorkTheater
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/10
Sutton, it sounds as if your question "why?" is rhetorical, but I'll answer it anyway.
I would want them to take a stand against such artistic censorship, discrimination, and giving into bullying and mob rule -- which is what seems (based on what I've read) to have gone on -- because it's the right thing to do.
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Fair enough.
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Outrageous. Would they do the same thing to a Russian company or an American company or a Ugandan company? I highly doubt it. As critical as I often - and currently! - am of Israel, the fashion for selectively shunning Israelis is infuriating and highly suspect.

Then again as Jay points out, below, this may have simply been a practical decision because of security, crowds, etc., as prompted by the demonstrations. In which case, it isn't the decision which is outrageous, it's the demonstrators.
Updated On: 8/1/14 at 04:03 PM
Jay Lerner-Z
Broadway Legend
joined:4/4/11
forced to cancel all performances of ‘The City’ by the Incubator Theatre group after anti-Israel demonstrators gathered outside, disrupting nearby events.

So it was a logistical decision?
devonian.t
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/04
But this would mean that the Fringe- which is an entirely neutral body- would have to begin intervening. Every year there are any number of performances which are politically or socially contentious. The Fringe does not programme; it is an open platform. It is up to any participants to react as they wish to the thousands of performances taking place. I think you are trying to compare Edinburgh to other Festivals which manage the content. Edinburgh is just not like that.

It is not the place of the Edinburgh Fringe Society to represent its participants in any circumstances.

If you think someone has done something wrong, do you need that to be confirmed by another group of people who have had nothing to do with it?
jnb9872
Broadway Legend
joined:11/24/08
This isn't a story about a theatre festival targeting an Israeli troupe, this is a story about a theatre festival responding to security concerns regarding protesters choosing to target an Israeli troupe for non-germane reasons.
Words don't deserve that kind of malarkey. They're innocent, neutral, precise, standing for this, describing that, meaning the other, so if you look after them you can build bridges across incomprehension and chaos. But when they get their corners knocked off, they're no good anymore…I don't think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
It's also a story about demonstrators targeted Israeli artists. Of course demonstrators have a right to demonstrate about anything they want. They also have to face the consequences of people responding by telling them that their demonstration is idiotic. Israeli artists are not responsible for their government's policies.
keithp
Featured Actor
joined:4/20/05
There is so much misinformation in the posts on this thread starting with the title. As somebody has pointed out the Fringe did not ban the show but the protest was disrupting other shows. The venue, not the Fringe, is trying to find a more suitable venue. Also as the protestors have pointed out they are not demanding that the play not go ahead because the performers are Israeli but because the company is part funded by the Israeli government, whose Ministry of Culture logo appears on the posters etc.
Really if you are going to post about an extremely emotive subject, please try and get basic facts correct starting with the completely incorrect title of the post.
keithp
Featured Actor
joined:4/20/05
And NewYorkTheatre you should be embarrassed for not even bothering to try and get basic facts anywhere near correct. Despite being told how the fringe operates and how the decision was reached by the individual venue, you don't seem to be able to grasp the situation. Nothing has been banned. Again, the protests were disrupting the other shows taking place in the venue and surrounding venue. The venue id trying to locate a more suitable location, which would allow the show to go ahead and the protest to take place without spoiling other performances for artistes and audiences alike.
NewYorkTheater
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/10

Updated On: 8/1/14 at 11:08 PM
NewYorkTheater
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/10
First of all, speaking about getting your facts correct, it's NewYorkTheater -- er, not re.
Second, you sound very close to the white Southerners during the Civil Rights Movement who presented themselves as the voice of reason in the face of an "emotive subject" like civil rights. It's not they who were racists, they said, but neither were they "agitators."; they were trying to keep the racists and the "civil rights agitators" from turning the situation violent.
I reject completely your pathetic argument that because this theater company got funding from their country's MInistry of Culture that they deserved to be targeted by a mob who, everyone agrees, disrupted not just their show but the other shows in the area. How can you possibly justify such disruption as acceptable and civilized under any circumstances?
But if you got a grant from the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts, does this mean that protesters against the U.S. policy in, say, the Middle East, would have the right to shut down your show, and the other shows around you?

Updated On: 8/1/14 at 11:08 PM
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
As an actor, I think it's smart. I wouldn't want to go to work everyday knowing my show is being protested. It's a smart decision based on the safety of their employees. Sorry you feel that their is an agenda, but nobody deservers to be harassed on their way into work.
A Director
Broadway Star
joined:12/18/07
Here's a statement from Incubator Theatre.

Incubator Theatre issued the following statement:

Incubator Theatre wishes to thank Underbelly staff, the police and members of the public for their help on Wednesday 30th July, enabling the first performance of The City to go ahead as planned. The nature of the demonstration which accompanied the performance, whilst it may have been legal, was carefully designed and managed to intimidate members of the public and it succeeded in causing maximum disruption to other artists and other shows in the vicinity. We appreciate the efforts of Underbelly and others to find an alternative space for the production and hope that performances of The City will continue shortly.

keithp
Featured Actor
joined:4/20/05
NewYorkTheater - I assume that the basic issue here is your comprehension skills. You can't attack me for my views about the rights or wrongs of the dispute because I didn't give them. You have no idea where I stand on the matter. What I was trying to so, which is what you have singularly failed to grasp, is present the facts of the situation here and correct the misinformation in yours and other posts including the title of the initial post.
There is now a post with details of what the theatre company involved is saying (maybe you will believe them?) and a link to an accurately reported story. Perhaps, further repetition of the facts from other people, will help clarify the situation as it actually is rather than how you seem to be viewing things. It isn't my opinion about the funding - that is a fact as is the statement from the protestors who said that it isn't about being Israeli but about being state funded. That is not a viewpoint - it is, something you constantly seem to ignore, a fact. Now you can disagree with the reasoning (I may do so - you have chosen to make the wrong assumptions about my viewpoint).
Again, the subject of the post started the information (the show is not banned and the Edinburgh Fringe cannot ban a show anyway). You have compounded the errors and mistakes. I am not talking about beliefs or viewpoints, I am talking about the facts of the situation and if you choose to ignore the salient points, then your views become ridiculous and dangerous.

1
Page: