Actors in underwear and party Vox censors the play

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underwear

QUINTANAR DE LA ORDEN – A municipal council in Toledo censors the theatre play ‘Qué dificil es’ (how difficult it is), because actors appear on stage in underwear. According to the municipality, this can be ‘offensive’.

The theatre play was scheduled for January 27 in Quintanar de la Orden (Toledo) and received a subsidy from the government of Castile-La Mancha. It has now been announced that the municipal council, consisting of the conservative Partido Popular and the extreme right-wing Vox, has cancelled the play.

Outrage over controversial decision

Vox came to power in several places in Spain in the last municipal elections. With the support of the PP, the party applies censorship to cultural events in various places. This time the censorship hits the town of Quintanar de la Orden, with around 11,000 inhabitants, which is under the control of both parties. The decision has caused a stir.

“Of course actors appear in underwear”

The performance ‘Qué difícil es’ was included in the program of the performing arts collaboration platform of Castile-La Mancha. The producers explain that the story takes place in a dressing room while the characters are getting changed. “Of course they appear in underwear. If the play were set in a bullring, the players would be dressed in ‘torero costumes’. You have to be very short-sighted to censor something you haven’t seen yet.”

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‘Qué difícil es’ has already been performed in front of more than 3,000 people. Also for groups of students. The piece deals with “current and profound” topics such as bullying, suicide and sexual diversity. “We have never received any complaints about the performance. And as far as we know, the piece has never disturbed anyone,” the production companies report on social media.

Abuse of power

“This ban is an attack on the cultural sector. A way for the councillor to use her power and prevent others from seeing something she doesn’t approve of. Government money, money belonging to all of us, is being used to indoctrinate with outdated beliefs. They are definitely not values,” they add. The producers emphasise that the ‘censorship’ is unfair to the residents of Quintenar de la Orden. They received a government subsidy for the piece. Because the municipality cancelled the play so late, the subsidy money can no longer be used for another performance.

Alderman puts decision into perspective

The municipality of Quintanar de la Orden responded to the accusations of censorship on Tuesday evening with a statement. Councilor Vallejo finds the fuss incomprehensible. “This also happens in other places, with other performances and in other circumstances,” she assures in her message. “It is very common to record a theatre piece and cancel it if another piece is more convincing. Or if a piece is not convincing after seeing the official trailer,” she adds. The councillor also denies that “partisanship, sexism nor any other reason of that nature” played a role in the cancellation.

Regional government condemns censorship

The Minister of Education, Culture and Sports, Amador Pastor, of the regional government of Castile-La Mancha has strongly condemned the ‘censorship’ and demands that the municipality reverse its decision and reinstate the play, which speaks about freedom, in the theatre program .

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In addition, he announced that the government of the autonomous region will not tolerate such behaviour. He indicates that he will adjust the subsidy scheme for the performing arts. He wants municipalities that are guilty of censorship to no longer be able to receive government support for cultural activities.

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