//Shut down but not silenced: Isis play Homegrown demands to be staged

Shut down but not silenced: Isis play Homegrown demands to be staged

Cancelled in 2015, a play about the radicalisation of young Muslims has now been published. It’s challenging, gloriously authentic and prompts grownup debate. So who is brave enough to put it on?

In 2015, the National Youth Theatre asked writer Omar El-Khairy and director Nadia Latif to create a show with its members about the radicalisation of young Muslims. Rehearsals for Homegrown began that summer with a sprawling cast. Around 70% of the script was already written, with the rest to be created through contributions from the cast. But halfway through the rehearsals period the production was abruptly cancelled; the NYT’s artistic director Paul Roseby cited a lack of quality and the need to protect the young people involved in the project.

There was no sign of a lack of quality at Conway Hall in London on Monday evening when an extract of the play was performed as part of An Inconvenient Muslim, an event organised by Index on Censorship to mark the publication of Homegrown that included a panel debate around the issues of censorship and representation of Muslims in society and the arts. There was no sign either of young people in need of protection from either challenging ideas or provocative theatre. Many of the original cast have stayed with the project over the last 20 months, and their commitment to it was demonstrated by electrifying performances of some scenes.

Related: Drama in the age of Prevent: why can’t we move beyond Good Muslim v Bad Muslim?

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Read more: theguardian.com