EDINBURGH -- The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has canceled Wildview 2, a play by the London company QMW which illustrates how to construct a nitro-glycerine bomb, according to Reuters. Festival officials and company members were apparently fearful of the production's reception in the wake of the recent car bombing in the Northern Ireland town of Omagh. The deadly attack claimed 28 lives.
Wildview 2 is set in London. Its description of the building of a bomb in set in the context of a police investigation. The play was to be performed in Old St. Paul's Church Hall in Edinburgh.
QMW's two other plays in the festival will go on as scheduled.
Playwrights have repeatedly shown their ability to unsettle society this year. Islamic dramatist Mehmet Vehi Yazar was sentenced Aug. 4 by a Turkish court to 24 years in prison. His offense was a play, An Enemy of God, that allegedly ridiculed the nation's military forces, according to Reuters. Four members of the play's cast were also sentenced to jail terms.
Meanwhile, in May, New York's Manhattan Theatre Club nearly canceled (but since reinstated) Terrence McNally's new play Corpus Christi after Catholic groups protested its depiction of a gay, Jesus-like figure. Soon after, government officials in Shanghai prevented the appearance of the Chinese opera The Peony Pavilion at the Lincoln Center Festival 98, claiming the opera was demeaning to Chinese culture. And in June, the producers of the Indian play Nathuram Godse Speaks were forced to cancel a production when hundreds of angry protesters gathered outside the theatre. The crowd claimed the play celebrated Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the nation's founders. The drama has also been assailed in newspapers and the Indian Parliament. -- By Robert Simonson