A COMIC play that some Christians on Newtownabbey Borough
Council, in Northern Ireland, tried to ban last week has gone
ahead. After the council's decision, the demand for tickets
caused the theatre's website to crash.
The Bible: The complete word of God (abridged),
by the Reduced Shakespeare Company, was staged at the Theatre at
the Mill, which is administered by the local authority, to packed
houses in a two-nightrun. An attempt by DUP councillors on the
authority's artistic board to have it cancelled on the groundsof
blasphemy failed. Protesters(left) sang hymns outside
Although the board originally succeeded, another vote was taken
in the face of public reaction to the move. Two DUP councillors,
Audrey Ball and Thomas Hogg, continued to object, describing the
play as crude and blasphemous. A Sinn Féin councillor, Gerard
O'Reilly, said that he felt that "there was an abuse of position,
bringing religion into the Chamber."
The DUP as a party had by then distanced itself from the actions
of its members on the council, while an Alliance councillor, Tom
Campbell, said that the opposing members on the artistic board had
been "bitten very badly" by public reaction.