Anorak News | Bhatti Boys

Bhatti Boys

by | 21st, December 2004

‘IF there really is no such thing as bad publicity, then Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti is about to be theatre’s answer to Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

‘Next stop Elstree…’

Her play is called Behzti (Dishonour) and at first glance seems to centre around a Sikh protest at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

It is front-page news in the Telegraph, where readers more used to stories of war and political intrigue get instead to hear about the “violent religious activists” who forced Bhatti’s play to be cancelled.

“The decision to pull the performance is a powerful blow to the freedom of speech,” thunders the paper’s editorial. “The law-abiding have lost out to the law-breaking.”

This is powerful, gritty stuff – it’s years since a play has been debated with such vigour.

And there’s more in the Times where readers are invited to lament the theatre’s failure to stand up to the “de facto censorship of an outraged minority”.

But what’s the cause of so much offence, you ask? Since we can no longer see the play, it will be hard to tell, but helpfully the Independent has eschewed events in the world at large to bring its readers a “key scene” from the work, which covers the paper’s front page.

Now, let us be clear on one thing, the only thing duller than watching live local theatre is reading a live local theatre script, a fact the Indy seems to have ignored as it continues its drama class all over page 6.

Instead, we humbly direct you to the Anorak Notes on the play. This wonderful booklet contains all the relevant facts and figure on one neat crib sheet.

It will prove to be a handy aide when, in a bid to inject sensation into a moribund TV schedule, Channel 4 produces a TV version of the polemic, as it must.

You can then be free to discuss the play – in which a widow, whose late husband had a homosexual affair with a Sikh elder, (who sexually abused young girls in the temple) before killing himself – while you cuddle up with the kids on the sofa and watch a brother and sister getting off with each other on EastEnders…’

Posted: 21st, December 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink