NEWS
Victory for free speech as Bible comedy ban overturned

Northern Irish town will host Reduced Shakespeare Company play

28 Jan 2014
BY PADRAIG REIDY
Staft at Newtownabbey's Theatre on the Mill return promotional posters to hoardings after the local council overturned a ban on the Reduced Shakespeare Company's The Bible (Abridged). Image Conor Macauley/Twitter

Staff at Newtownabbey’s Theatre on the Mill return promotional posters to hoardings after the local council overturned a ban on the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s The Bible: The Complete Word of God  (Abridged). Image Conor Macauley/Twitter

Councillors in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland last night voted to overturn a controversial ban on a Bible-based comedy in the town’s theatre. The town had hit international headlines last week after Christian councillors had sought to stop performances of the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged).

The Newtownabbey Times reports that town councillors criticised pressure put on the town’s Artistic Council by some members of the Democratic Unionist Party, with one politician denouncing them as “continuity Paisleyites who want to take us back to the Dark Ages.”

The Democratic Unionist Party, which was founded by fundamentalist Christian preacher Ian Paisley, sought to distance itself from the original decision, though its members had been accused of being responsible for pressuring the artistic council into stopping the performances.

The performances will now go ahead on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, as originally scheduled.

This article was posted on 28 January 2014 at indexoncensorship.org

Padraig Reidy

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