Newbury Productions (UK) Limited present Reduced Shakespeare Company® in
The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) – written by Adam Long, Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor – in Swindon on Saturday 1 March.
However, although written in 1995, a council in Northern Ireland has banned the RSC from appearing at the local theatre on 29 and 30 April on religious grounds.
Newbury Productions and Reduced Shakespeare Company released the following statement: ‘We’re saddened and disappointed by the news today that the Newtonabbey Council’s Artistic Board has decided to cancel the performances of The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged). 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 company’s first three shows, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The Complete History of America (abridged) and The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) enjoyed a nine-year run at the Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly Circus.
Not only were they London’s longest-running comedies, but at one point the RSC had more shows running in the West End than Andrew Lloyd Webber, and some of them were funnier.
Make up you own mind about The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) at Wyvern Theatre, Swindon on Saturday 1 March 2014
Tickets from 01795 524 481 or online www.wyverntheatre.org.uk