SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – This is, by some distance, the most urgent and important stage production now running in London.
And it says something about the timidity of our theatres and our dramatists that this daring debate about Islamic extremism, multiculturalism and freedom of speech is being presented by the dance and physical theatre company DV8, rather than by a more conventional stage outfit.
There appears to have been an alarming amount of self-censorship by the theatrical establishment in tackling these issues, either because they fear being accused of racism, or because simply to raise the matter could expose them to genuine danger from angry Muslims.
Great credit then to Lloyd Newson for both conceiving and directing this production, and to the National Theatre for giving it the high-profile showcase it richly deserves.
The show begins with one of the performers repeating a question posed by Martin Amis: “Do you feel morally superior to the Taliban?” So cowed have we become that only about 20 percent of the audience put their hands up despite our knowledge of their barbarous cruelties.
The piece then goes on to explore the Rushdie affair, the Danish newspaper cartoons of Muhammed, and the murder the Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh following his film about the abuse of Muslim women.
It also shines a harsh light on the forced marriages and “honour abuse” among Muslims in this country. Almost every word that’s uttered is verbatim, and the majority come from revealing interviews conducted by DV8 itself.
By Charles Spencer
Source: The Telegraph