Thursday 19 October 2017

Caesar show will go on, vows theatre

Gregg Henry, centre left, dressed as Donald Trump in the role of Julius Caesar at the Public Theatre in New York
Gregg Henry, centre left, dressed as Donald Trump in the role of Julius Caesar at the Public Theatre in New York

New York's Public Theatre is refusing to back down over its production of 'Julius Caesar' that portrays a Donald Trump-like dictator in a business suit who gets stabbed to death on stage.

Delta Air Lines and Bank of America have pulled their sponsorship of the play, but in a statement the theatre said it stood behind the production.

It said its staging "provoked heated discussion" but "such discussion is exactly the goal of our civically engaged theatre; this discourse is the basis of a healthy democracy". The play's director, Oskar Eustis, said neither Shakespeare nor the non-profit Public Theatre could "possibly advocate violence as a solution to political problems, and certainly not assassination".

The modern-day Caesar's violent death at the hands of conspirators comes not long after comedian Kathy Griffin was widely condemned for posing for a photograph in which she gripped a bloodied rendering of the US president's head.

On Sunday, Donald Trump Jr retweeted a Fox News story about the play and wrote: "I wonder how much of this 'art' is funded by taxpayers? Serious question, when does 'art' become political speech and does that change things?" (AP)

Irish Independent

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