Muslim Leaders Caution Over Birmingham Bells???
Date: 24 March 2005
Religious leaders in Birmingham have urged caution in responding to another new play at Birmingham Rep that has caused offence in some quarters of the Muslim community. In December, Sikh protestors rioted at the theatre, forcing the closure of the controversial Behzti, which in turn sparked a heated, ongoing debate about censorship of the arts (See News, 22 Dec 2004). That play, by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, who subsequently went into hiding, was set in a Sikh temple. The new piece, Bells by Anglo-Pakistani Yasmin Whittaker Khan, takes place in a mujra, a Muslim brothel. Leaders have asked the local community to react “extremely carefully”. Luckily (or not), Birmingham agitators won’t have long to react in any manner. Bells is only at the Rep this week as part of an extensive tour. As part of its schedule, the Kali Theatre production, presented in rep with Chaos by fellow Muslim dramatist Azma Dar, comes to London’s Southwark Playhouse for four weeks from 19 April 2005.
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