Fringe Festival asked to cancel Israeli show

Dozens of world-renowned artists have called on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to cancel a show staged by the Jerusalem-based Incubator Theater.

The production, “The City,” is a film noir-style hip-hop opera. Incubator was invited to perform at the Underbelly venue in the Scottish capital from July 30 to Aug. 25.

The petition was organized by theater critic and writer Mark Brown and signed by 50 leading arts figures, including national poet Liz Lochhead, writer Alasdair Gray and playwright David Greig, Scottish media reported last weekend.

The protest read in part: “The current, brutal assault by Israel upon the people of Gaza, which is an appalling collective punishment, underlines the seriousness of your error in cooperating with a company which is funded by the Ministry of Culture of the State of Israel.”

The Underbelly refused to back down. “We believe that all artists, from whatever creed or nation, must have the freedom of expression,” said a spokesman for the venue. —