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Bezhti

At the time of writing the matters relating to the play Bezhti which is Panjabi for Dishonour are still moving on.

The situation with Bezhti is, however, not in any way unique. JM Synge wrote a play called "The Playboy of the Western World" http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/curtainup/story/0,12830,937744,00.html
describes how the play broke up in the second act at the mention of the word "shift".

The situation with Bezhti had, in fact, moved on from demonstrations outside the play to a situation in which demonstrators had bought up the spare tickets at the point at which the play was curtailed. To that extent Bezhti never actually got to the state that "The Playboy of the Western World" got to - much that the representations in the media would indicate otherwise.

The only other thing I am saying publicly at the moment is the joint three leaders statement as follows:
Birmingham City Council has said in a joint statement from the 3 party leaders,
Councillor Mike Whitby, Councillor John Hemming and Councillor SirAlbert Bore:

In response to Birmingham Rep's decision to curtail the performances ofBehtzi:

"We welcome the Rep's decision to end the current run of Behtzi because of the fears for the safety of the public attending the theatre and other venues. However we deplore the acts of violence by some of the protestors on Saturday that has led to this decision.

"We will continue discussions with all community leaders across the city to ensure that sensitivity to community values and expectations can co-existw ith the freedom of artistic expression.

"Cultural diversity must reflect both the ethnic and faith make-up of the city and the range of artistic and performing organisations which makes Birmingham a 21st century cosmopolitan city.

"We are confident that Birmingham can continue to celebrate together Birmingham's huge strength: that is its cultural diversity and appreciation of the many faiths living in the city."

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