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Batsheva cancelled in Brighton

A performance  in Brighton by the Batsheva Ensemble has been cancelled due to security concerns. The company was due to perform twice, but one date has been cut from the schedule to allow the venue to concentrate its security resources on a single event:

Andrew Comben, the venue’s chief executive, said that freedom of expression was vital and that he supported Batsheva’s inclusion on the tour. “We support the right to protest and encourage debate but we welcome artists from all over the world and will continue to do so,” he said. “However, we have a duty to ensure that our audiences have a safe and enjoyable experience and are disappointed that their enjoyment of this company’s work may be disturbed.”

It must be difficult to be responsible for such decisions.  But I am glad that – in a similar situation – the Globe ensured that people could watch both scheduled performances of the Habima Merchant of Venice in safety and, where disruption could not be prevented, worked to minimize its impact. I agree with the Israeli Embassy spokesman quoted in the JC:

“When the threats of violence at a cultural performance become so grave that the performance has to be canceled, this is clearly not just a problem for Israel but for any thinking person in Britain.”

Hat Tip: @MidEstParallelU