Why was ‘Homegrown’ cancelled?

Read the letter on The Times website

Sir, The abrupt cancellation of the National Youth Theatre’s production of Homegrown is a troubling moment for British theatre and freedom of expression. The play seeks to examine radicalisation and disaffection among British youth. Its cancellation serves only to shut down conversation on these important issues. We fear that government policy in response to extremism may be creating a culture of caution in the arts.

We are deeply concerned by reports that the NYT may have been put under external pressure to change the location and then cancel the production. Police, local authorities and arts organisations have a duty to respect and protect freedom of expression — even, and most especially, where they disagree with the message or find it controversial.We urge the NYT to give a full account of what led to the decision, and hope that a way can be found to stage it so that the young voices involved can be heard and the production can be judged on its merits.

  • Maureen Freely, president, English PEN
  • Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive, Index on Censorship
  • Jo Glanville, director, English PEN
  • Shami Chakrabarti, director, Liberty
  • Anish Kapoor, artist
  • Anneliese Davidsen, executive director, Unicorn Theatre
  • Christopher Haydon, artistic director, Gate Theatre
  • Sir David Hare, playwright
  • David Lan, artistic director, Young Vic
  • Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, playwright
  • Heydon Prowse, actor
  • Jolyon Rubinstein, actor
  • Howard Brenton, playwright
  • Josie Rourke, artistic director, Donmar Warehouse
  • Lorne Campbell, artistic director, Northern Stage
  • Monica Ali, writer
  • David Aaronovitch, chair, Index on Censorship
  • Nell Leyshon, playwright
  • Nick Williams, executive director, Actors Touring Company
  • Ramin Gray, artistic director, Actors Touring Company
  • Sabrina Mahfouz, playwright
  • Sarah Frankcom, artistic director, Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester
  • Simon Callow, actor
  • Stella Odunlami, artist and performer
  • Timberlake Wertenbaker, playwright

Read the letter on The Times website

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