THE Wyvern Theatre is set to stage a play which was banned in Northren Ireland last week.
The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged), performed by The Reduced Shakespeare Company, will run at the Wyvern in March after a theatre in Northern Ireland cancelled the Reduced Shakespeare Company scheduled performance.
Newbury Productions and Reduced Shakespeare Company released the said: "We’re saddened and disappointed by the news that the Newtonabbey Council’s Artistic Board has decided to cancel the performances of The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) on Wednesday 29 and Tuesday 30 April.
"This decision was taken after 'concerns were raised by some elected members at the recent Policy and Governance meeting of the Council'.
"It is the first time since the show was written almost 20 years ago that a venue has cancelled a performance. The show is a light-hearted and very funny celebration of The Bible.
"The RSC has toured the show extensively across Ireland, USA, and UK over the past 20 years, including two runs in the West End. The company has even performed the show at the Jerusalem Festival in Israel without objection.
"Hundreds of members of the clergy of all denominations have seen the show since its premiere in 1995 and have both endorsed it and recommended it to their congregations. We do not attempt to 'mock' the Bible, as reported in some publications; instead we attempt to celebrate the Bible in a two hour celebration of faith."
Playwright Austin Tichenor, co-author of the script and one of the managing partners of the Reduced Shakespeare Company said: "Our show is a celebration of all the great stories of the Bible. The theatre is our temple and we're disappointed that people of all faiths will now not be able to gather at the Theatre at the Mill and lift their voices in communal laughter.
"We find it quite staggering that this type of censorship still appears to flourish in the UK and would like to apologise to all the audience members who bought tickets and are therefore unable to see the show.
"The Reduced Shakespeare Company is a three-man comedy troupe that takes long, serious subjects and reduces them to short, sharp comedies. Whether you are Catholic or Atheist, Muslim or Jew, Protestant, Atheist or Jedi, you will be tickled by the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s romp through old time religion."
The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged), performed by The Reduced Shakespeare Company, will run at the Wyvern Theatre on Saturday 1 March as scheduled. Book tickets today at http://wyverntheatre.org.uk or by calling the ticket office on 01793 524 481.