• STV
  • MySTV

Israeli hip-hop opera cancelled after pro-Palestinian protests

Dozens of protesters rallied outside a performance of the Edinburgh Festival show The City on Wednesday.

Flag of the State of Israel. Quality news image Creative Commons from Flickr by James Emery.
© James EmeryCreative Commons (Cropped)

A "hip-hop opera" performed by an Israeli theatre company has been cancelled following protests from critics of the country's government.

Dozens of protesters rallied outside a performance of the Edinburgh Festival show The City on Wednesday.

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) objected to the Incubator Theatre production, which receives public funding.

However, the show's promoters said the theatre company, which is based in Jerusalem, worked across communities in both the predominantly Jewish western and predominantly Arab eastern districts of the Israeli capital.

Venue bosses at the Underbelly Cow Barn announced on Wednesday evening that future performances of The City had been cancelled. They said they would help the theatre company find an alternative venue for its production.

A spokesman for Underbelly explained: "Earlier today, after discussions between Underbelly, Incubator Theatre, the University of Edinburgh and Police Scotland it was agreed that future performances of The City at the Reid Hall would be cancelled.

"Today’s performance of The City went ahead as planned, but the logistics of policing and stewarding the protest around The Reid Hall – and the effect of the disturbance on Underbelly and other venues’ other shows – make it untenable for the show to continue in the Cow Barn, Reid Hall.

"Underbelly and Incubator Theatre will work to identify other suitable venues for the show to perform at in Edinburgh.

"All tickets for forthcoming performances of The City in the Cowbarn, Reid Hall will be refunded. When an alternative venue is found, customers will be able to book tickets for that show separately."

The City was due to run at the venue in Edinburgh's Bristo Square until August 25.

The protest came during Operation Protective Edge, an Israeli military campaign against Hamas in Gaza.

Speaking ahead of the cancellation announcement, Mick Napier, secretary of the SPSC, said: "The massacre in Gaza is now well into four figures and overwhelmingly that is civilians and a huge number of children.

"Hospitals and schools are being shelled, some repeatedly, and we find that it's unacceptable that an Israeli state-sponsored cultural event should go ahead at the Edinburgh Fringe.

"If the artists were unconnected with the Israeli state we would have no issue with them."

An earlier statement from John Stalker Productions, which is promoting the show, said the theatre company receives some arts funding from Israel's ministry of culture, among others.

It said: "Incubator Theatre exists to be an agent of significant cultural change in Jerusalem, working in both east and west Jerusalem, and an active force in developing an urban climate of pluralism and openness that accommodates a wide spectrum of opinions and world views.

"This work is of great significance to furthering cross-community dialogue and debate in the region."

Police Scotland said they were aware of the protest.

A force spokesman said: "We respect individuals' right to protest peacefully and our officers will facilitate any demonstration with a proportionate and appropriate deployment.

"This will be balanced against the needs and rights of those impacted by the event and the public can be sure that criminal activity will not be tolerated.

"Police Scotland's priority is to keep people safe and, alongside our partners at the City of Edinburgh Council, we will do our utmost to ensure that performers, spectators, residents and visitors alike are all able to enjoy the Edinburgh Festival to the full."

Israeli flag image: Original image, created by James Emery, published under licence to Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0. Modifications: Horizontal flip.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.