Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Stop unholy play that mocks Bible, DUP man Billy Ball urges

'My wife has recently been put on the artistic board ... those against her strong beliefs better watch out'

Reduced Shakespeare Company play The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)
Reduced Shakespeare Company play The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)
Alliance councillor John Blair: The Mill needs to have a broad range and different types of productions because that's what the paying public expect
Alliance councillor John Blair: The Mill needs to have a broad range and different types of productions because that's what the paying public expect

A DUP politician has slammed a touring theatre group he claims is mocking the Bible, and is demanding the production be cancelled.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company is set to perform The Bible: The Complete Word Of God (abridged) at the Theatre At The Mill in Newtownabbey later this month.

According to the promotion for the production, the cast "tackle the great theological questions: Did Adam and Eve have navels? Did Moses really look like Charlton Heston? And why isn't the word 'phonetic' spelled the way it sounds?"

Its publicity claims it's "an irreverent rollercoaster ride, from fig leaves to Final Judgement".

"Whether you are Catholic or Atheist, Muslim or Jew, Protestant or Purple People Eater, you will be tickled by the RSC's romp through old time religion. Remember ... Someone is watching."

Newtownabbey councillor Billy Ball claims the play makes a mockery of the Bible and Christianity.

"This 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.

"Christians 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.

"People die every day for the Bible in countries where believers are persecuted."

Mr Ball claimed other faiths wouldn't be used in comedy as readily.

"If this was the Qu'ran I would very much doubt they'd go near it.

"As we enter the year of Shakespeare's 450th birthday, why aren't they coming to Newtownabbey with an appropriate production?

"As it stands, I'd be calling for public pressure to have it pulled.

"My wife, councillor Audrey Ball, has recently been put on the artistic board, so I know in future she will speak up for Christianity.

"Those against her strong beliefs better watch out."

Alliance councillor John Blair told the Belfast Telegraph the artistic board is appointed by the full council and is representative of the community.

"At the excellent facilities at The Mill in Newtownabbey, it needs to have a broad range and different types of productions because that's what the paying public expect."

Tickets for the show on January 29 and 30 are priced at £16 & £14 (concession).

Contact The Mill box office for more information.

Belfast theatres have little to offer working classes and Protestants in particular, claims DUP MLA William Humphrey

The Bible: The Complete Word Of God (abridged) trailer

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