It is very worrying that a theatre production about an important subject and one that young people need to be able to discuss and debate should be closed down.
The decision to cancel Homegrown, a National Youth Theatre production that included a cast of 112 young people between the ages of 15 and 25, was made 10 days before it was due to be staged at an east London school. The play, a promenade-like production in which the audience would overhear hallway conversations between the actors, was developed through workshops put on by the creators. Director Nadia Latif and playwright Omar El-Khairy believe the production was cancelled due to external pressures, according to The Guardian.
Despite the Prime Minister’s recent statements about shutting down speech about extremism, as a society we should be encouraging vehicles that shed light on the processes of radicalisation among young people. The way forward is to open up discussions about controversial subjects in contemporary Britain.
The police and local officials clearly need to be reminded that they have a duty to protect the right to free expression.
Obscene Publications (available autumn 2015)