Play satirising Islamists forced off Hurghada stage
Theatre official says that after threats of violence from Islamists, the authorities have decided to relocate the play
Ahram Online, Tuesday 30 Apr 2013
In an interview with Al-Ahram’s Arabic language website, chairman of the Cultural Palaces Authority, Saad Abdel Rahman, said that the authority did not ban the play ‘Diwan Al-Baqar’ (Salon of the Cows) by Mohamed Aboulela El-Salamooni, as was reported in the media, but rather decided to "relocate the show, to avoid problems."
The play, which was scheduled to run for seven nights at the Hurghada Cultural Palace, reportedly satirises Islamists and pokes fun at the wardrobe and beards of members of the trend.
Abdel Rahman said that following two nights of the show, it was brought to the attention of Islamist figures that the play was critical of them, "which led them to threaten to stop the show and destroy the theatre."
"In response, the play's troupe called for help from members of the 6 April Youth Movement and the anonymous Black Bloc, which was when we decided to move the show to a different location, to avoid violence," said Abdel Rahman.
Abdel Rahman admits that the director of the Red Sea Cultural Centre called him to deliberate over the situation, and together they decided to relocate the show. He denies that the play has been banned, and describes the move as a preventative measure.
Liberal political parties have rushed to show their support for the play. According to its official Facebook page, the leftist-liberal Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) held a seminar at the party's headquarters in Hurghada earlier today about Salon of the Cows, in the presence of its actors, to show solidarity in the face of "intellectual terrorism."