Theatre ‘on thin ice’ over boy­cott

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY SANDY RASHTY

CUL­TURE SEC­RE­TARY Sa­jid Javid has said in a let­ter to UK Jewish Film Fes­ti­val chair Stephen Mar­go­lis that the Tri­cy­cle Theatre’s boy­cott is “mis­guided”.

Mr Javid, a long-time sup­porter of Con­ser­va­tive Friends of Is­rael, also told the JC: “I am con­cerned about the im­pact of its de­ci­sion.”

His re­marks were echoed by Finch­ley and Gold­ers Green MP Mike Freer, who de­scribed the move as “daft and mis­guided. Be­cause of all the bad pub­lic­ity the Tri­cy­cle’s re­ceived, it will make other the­atres think twice.”

The JC un­der­stands there were talks held be­tween the UKJFF and Tri­cy­cle ear­lier this week to at­tempt to re­solve the is­sue, although they are be­lieved to have bro­ken down.

A num­ber of donors have with­drawn their sup­port. Sir Trevor Chinn is be­lieved to have with­drawn his do­na­tions.

Al­lan Mor­gen­thau has re­signed from the Tri­cy­cle’s devel­op­ment com­mit- tee and with­drawn do­na­tions to the theatre from the Diana and Al­lan Mor­gen­thau Char­i­ta­ble Trust.

Mr Mor­gen­thau, the for­mer chair of the Lon­don Jewish Cul­tural Cen­tre, said: “I was to­tally and ut­terly sur­prised by what the Tri­cy­cle did. It’s a ter­ri­bly mis­placed de­ci­sion.

I don’t think there was mal­ice in­tended but the Tri­cy­cle must be judged by its deed.

“If they change their mind, the Jewish com­mu­nity will for­give them. It’s very, very sad.”

Jewish Book Week Chair Gail San­dler and Celia Atkin, of the Atkin Char­i­ta­ble Foun­da­tion, are also be­lieved to have with­drawn their sup­port.

Hu­man Rights lawyer Adam Wag­ner said: “The Tri­cy­cle is skat­ing on thin ice, le­gally speak­ing. This is at least ar­guably dis­crim­i­na­tion un­der the Equal­ity Act 2010”.

A spokes­woman for the Char­ity Com­mis­sion said com­plaints had been re­ceived about the Tri­cy­cle. “We are as­sess­ing the con­cerns to de­ter­mine whether there is a reg­u­la­tory role for us,” she said.

Tri­cy­cle chair­man Jonathan Levy re­fused to com­ment on de­vel­op­ments, although he de­nied he would re­sign: “I can cat­e­gor­i­cally tell you that is not the case.”

Last Thurs­day, more than 250 peo­ple gath­ered out­side the Tri­cy­cle to protest at the boy­cott. Pro­tes­tors held up plac­ards that read “don’t pun­ish Lon­don’s Jews”. Many said the Tri­cy­cle’s ul­ti­ma­tum was “an­tisemitic” and vowed to never re­turn to the theatre.

Ni­cole Ray, a grand­mother from Bore­ham­wood in Hert­ford­shire, said: “I don’t want the Tri­cy­cle to think that they can get away with it. I would have been dev­as­tated if the UKJFF gave in.”

The UKJFF will now be screened at more than 10 venues, in­clud­ing Art­house Crouch End, Bar­bican, BFI South­bank, Cine Lu­miere, Ev­ery­man, JW3, Odeon Swiss Cot­tage, Odeon South Wood­ford, Phoenix, East Finch­ley, all in Lon­don, and the Corner­house in Manch­ester and Broad­way in Not­ting­ham.

Pro­test­ers out­side the Tri­cy­cle Theatre

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.