Sunday, 12 October 2008

Earlier, in fact

Yesterday I went to see Now or Later at the Royal Court. My wife and I were rather surprised that her bag was searched on the way in but now it makes sense.

It's a good play, but not brilliant. Through some rather clunky dialogue, you learn that the son of a (white) Democratic candidate on the verge of being elected to the US presidency has been photographed at a "naked party", dressed as Mohammed. The play centres around issues of freedom of speech, mainly, should he issue some kind of apology. Along the way it turns out that during the party he had also performed a mock fellatio on his friend.

What doesn't quite hang together is that the young man doesn't get the potential for massive offence. The Royal Court obviously feels the danger that the play will offend and, if you think about it, so did the playwright, Christopher Shinn. There is no way that the incident in question could have been represented directly in the play. Freedom of speech is relative.

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