Israeli Theatre Group Forced to Cancel Shows at Edinburgh Fringe

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Israeli Theatre Group Forced to Cancel Shows at Edinburgh Fringe

The members of an Israeli theatre group are singing "for peace" until they find a quieter venue for their show.

According to The Guardian, Incubator Theatre's Edinburgh Fringe show, THE CITY- a hip hop show which explores crime- was cancelled by The Underbelly venue due to disruptive protests around the venue on Wednesday.

Due to the present state of Gaza, Scottish artisans and writers- including Scottish poet Liz Lockhead and playwright David Greig- signed a letter petitioning that the Israeli theatre company, which is government-funded, be banned from the festival.

Incubator Theatre artistic director, Arik Eshet, argued that the financial backing from the Israeli government had nothing to do with politics. "They fund art for art," he said. "It can be against the government, we are not censored. Every group that comes to the Fringe from other countries is unable to come without government help."

Underbelly released a statement saying that due to the protests and the large number of police supervision that was required, the show could not continue. Additionally said protests greatly interfered with other shows.

While Eshet said he could sympathize with the verdict, he pointed out that he expected better from the Edinburgh Fringe. He said, "The Edinburgh Fringe is known for accepting everybody and as a place for free speech and free expression. I think the festival is losing ground to loud shouters."

"The last few days have been depressing," Eshet told the Guardian. "But we are trying to be in a good mood, we are trying to find a new venue and in the mean time we'll sing in the streets ... sing for peace."

Visit www.edfringe.com for more information about the Edinburgh Fringe arts festival.

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