(Andrew Haydon’s article appeared in the Guardian, 1/6.)
In the past month, three rather serious things have happened to what could loosely be called "the world's theatre community". In Hungary – the country that has just assumed presidency of the EU, folks – a law has been drafted that, as well as enabling the government to censor newspapers, would give it the power to ban theatre performances, while the country's parliament looks set to sack the director of its national theatre on the grounds that his work is "obscene, pornographic, anti-national, and anti-Hungarian". In Belarus, Natalia Koliada, the artistic director of the country's only free theatre company, has, following the "re-election" of Alexander Lukashenko, been forced to go into hiding, threatened with rape and torture. Then, as reported in yesterday's Noises Off, the education minister of Iraq has banned the study of theatre altogether in Baghdad's institute of fine arts.