A comedy play based on the Bible has been axed from a Northern Irish theatre, after Evangelical Christians in the DUP complained it "mocked and slated" their religion.
The Reduced Shakespeare Company was set to perform The Bible: The
Complete Word Of God (abridged) at the Theatre At The Mill in
Newtownabbey on Wednesday and Thursday next week.
But the show has been pulled from the schedule at the theatre, which is run by unionist-dominated Newtownabbey Borough Council.
DUP councillor Billy Ball had demanded the production was cancelled, claiming the play makes a mockery of the Bible and Christianity.
is supposed to be a Christian nation and we are allowing the Bible to
be mocked and slated," he said. "Our parliaments are sworn under it, the
courts offer an oath on the Bible, if that's your religious choice.
can be slagged for their beliefs and I can take that, I don't mind
that, but when it comes to the Bible that's different, it's sacred."
council issued a statement on Thursday, saying the artistic board had,
"with great regret", taken the decision to cancel the play.
added: "In taking this decision, the board wishes to confirm its
commitment to deliver on the agreed council’s artistic policy 'to
deliver the highest quality performing arts programme, offering a
diverse, socially relevant and enriching experience to as many citizens
The news has been met with ridicule on social networking sites, where the hashtag #ThouShaltNotLaugh is gathering momentum.