Muslim groups’ no love for George Town play forces cancellation

A poster for the play ‘Love in Georgetown City’, which previously called ‘Sex in Georgetown City’, is seen at Penangpac in George Town February 14, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
A poster for the play ‘Love in Georgetown City’, which previously called ‘Sex in Georgetown City’, is seen at Penangpac in George Town February 14, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 15 — Penangpac and Big Nose Productions have cancelled a play about relationships and social issues on police advice after Muslim groups protested against it

In a brief statement, Penangpac cited “misconceptions” about Love in Georgetown City, whose original title was Sex in Georgetown City, as the reasons for the cancellation of the show that was scheduled to continue today until Sunday.

“This is being done on the advice of Penang state law enforcement authorities in the interest of maintaining public order and to avoid any unfortunate incidents,” they said.

Those who have purchased tickets to the show can contact Penangpac at 04-8991722 or 04-8992722 for a refund.

The two-hour comedy play kicked off its first sold-out performance last night to an audience of more than 120, including police officers who were monitoring it.

When contacted, Penangpac publicity manager Alexander Ooi said they will have to refund about RM22,000 worth of tickets already sold for today until Sunday.

“Three out of six scheduled shows were sold out and the remaining three were selling fast,” he said.

Written, directed and produced by Fa Abdul, the play consisted of 10 comedy sketches featuring couples in conversations about relationships, marriage and social issues.

A poster of the show titled Sex in Georgetown City with the picture of a fully-clothed couple in bed was first shared online and led to the show being misunderstood as a pornographic film screening.

Muslim groups lodged a police report against the performance on Monday claiming that it was a screening of pornographic films that promoted free sex and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) lifestyle.

Fa had responded with a statement explaining that the performance was a comedy that reflected on current social issues and also lodged a police report against the groups.

The title of the performance was then changed to Love in Georgetown City.

The Jaringan Muslimin Pulau Pinang held a protest at Penangpac last night in a bid to stop the show while accusing Penangpac of launching a “campaign to promote free sex and LGBT”.

This morning, the police said the play is a comedy and did not contain any pornography or obscene scenes but they had advised the production company to cancel the show.

Ooi said they will replace the play with Norm & Ahmed, a play featuring a midnight conversation between a Pakistani student and an Australian workman.

Find out more about Penangpac shows at Penangpac.org.

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