Author Topic: 4.48 Psychosis banned in Belarus  (Read 3049 times)

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Offline Iain Fisher

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4.48 Psychosis banned in Belarus
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2011, 01:06:41 PM »
From a BBC news page on 21 Apr 2011

"A theatre company from Belarus [Belarus Free Theatre] are touring London and New York to draw attention to limits to free expression at home... Belarus is one of the last dictatorships in Europe, and performing theatre that challenges social norms is enough to land a lengthy jail sentence.

...when president Alexander Lukashenko came to power in 1994, he clamped down on freedom of expression...

"There is no official censorship law in Belarus," [co-founder] Natalia [Koylada] explains. "But Belarus authorities like to use this phrase 'not recommended.'"

A recent performance of British playwright Sarah Kane's play 4.48 Psychosis was banned because it addressed the issue of suicide.

"This is the most weird, the most scary part," says Natalia. Belarus has one of the highest rates of suicide in Europe, "but it is not possible to talk about these things."

Soon after its inception the theatre was forced underground/ Performances were held in private houses and clubs or under the cover of weddings and birthday parties.   Seeing one of these productions is a challenge. Spectators first have to call the theatre manager and leave their phone number.  Once the troupe has found a place to perform, they call back and assign a covert meeting point where the audience gathers before being led to the venue.  Audience members are told to bring their passports in case they are arrested. 
Despite the danger involved, their performances have attracted up to 1,200 people."

The page is here