United Kingdom: Theatre play addressing radicalisation cancelled
A play about Islamist radicalisation in British schools was canceled in August 2015 just two weeks before opening night, prompting speculation the actors, writers and developers had been censored.
The play, ‘Homegrown’, was due to be performed by the National Youth Theatre at the UCL Academy in North London. It was developed using interviews with people from Bethnal Green, a community which saw three young girls travel to Syria to join Islamic State in early 2015.
The cast included 112 National Youth Theatre members between the ages of 15 and 25, many of them ethnic minorities.
Director Nadia Latif and writer Omar El-Khairy say they believe the play was halted under pressure by external authorities who feared it would disrupt the local community.
A statement from National Youth Theatre on the cancellation read: “The production of Homegrown will no longer go ahead. After some consideration, we have come to the conclusion that we cannot be sufficiently sure of meeting all of our aims to the standards we set and which our members and audiences have come to expect. All purchased tickets will be fully refunded.”