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CS: To criticise yourself, yes. He has said – in his defence, and he can defend himself – that he’s looking for a play that gives some look inside radical Islam. On the other hand I wouldn’t mind seeing a play from outside radical Islam, that gives it a good kicking. But no one will dare do that. There’s a very good new writer who I think you’d like called Richard Bean. I don’t want to say what his politics are because he’s never told me, but he’s written The English Game, a very good new play about cricket, and there’s a moment in this when a very sympathetic character talks about how he’s sick of England and one of the things that he hates about it is Islam and what it does to women, and blowing people up and so on. And it was shocking because I suddenly realised that this hasn’t actually been said in a play before. It’s what everyone thinks, but this is the first time it has been said. And there’s a liberal doctor who can’t stand what he’s saying, but it’s the doctor that’s emigrating to an agreeable region of Languedoc, because he can’t stand it in London any more. And in fact these two have been friends all their lives and they break up. Another play that I was shown the script of is an anonymous version of Aristophanes’s Lysistrata, about Islamic women going on sex strikes.

SG: Oh yes, this has been discussed somewhere. I’ve seen it written about.

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Peter Elmore
August 8th, 2008
1:08 PM
I agree with the sentiments expressed about Islam in the Theatre; a great big burkha-wearing elephant in the room. I have worked and lived in the Middle East where for the most part the concept of Theatre as we know it does not exist except for British Council productions of Drawing Room dramas, comedies and bog standard Shakespeare. The hand wringing Guardian readers would rather burn a "Joan of Art" at a stake fueled with Bibles than offend an Islamist. However I'm sure the "next big thing" from the subsidised theatre will be a biting satire on the persecution of homosexual bishops.

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