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21 December, 2006

Amazing Technicolour Obscenecoat

Jason Donovan and Darren Day must be turning in their graves at the news that Joseph and the Amazing Techicolour Dreamcoat has been cancelled in Dubai:

Dubai: A school play was told to bring its curtain down by Dubai Education Zone as it impersonated a prophet.

"I knew it involved Prophet Joseph but I had no idea they would be impersonating him. I was under the impression there would be a narration from backstage," said Laila Baker, director of Arabic and foreign private schools at Dubai Education Zone.

Only in the sandlands could this merry musical be described as a "controversial school play":

Another parent said: "The production was very nice but I was a bit offended they were impersonating Prophet Joseph. They could have at least changed the character and also the number of his siblings."

Which is rather like doing the nativity, but swapping Mary and Joseph for a Venezuelan couple, giving them triplets and moving them from a Bethlehem stable to the penthouse suite at the Bangkok Hilton.

Still, it's not all Scrooge-news this Christmas. Jebel Ali Church is hosting a free Christmas lunch for labourers.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am not sure why you feel its a 'controversial' topic.

We live in a region which reveres its religous figures.

There is a play about a religous figure which they felt was inappropriate

They ban said play!!

With Tony B visiting I would have though that there were far more interesting points to raise than this.

To be brutally honest despite not being a regular church goer - I find the locals desire to protect religous figures from ridicule to be lauded

Samuel - The Springs

21 December, 2006 02:45  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

"I knew it involved Prophet Joseph but I had no idea they would be impersonating him. I was under the impression there would be a narration from backstage," said Laila Baker, director of Arabic and foreign private schools at Dubai Education Zone.

I hope she's not considering a career directing porn flicks.

21 December, 2006 03:07  
Blogger Grumpy Goat said...

If it's banned in Dubai, how do we explain this?

21 December, 2006 09:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chama Secret-Dubai,

Soy Venezolano y no le encuentro la gracia o razon a su comentario referente a incluir una pareja venezolana.

Que representan los latinoamericanos para usted?

Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo.

-Soy Venezolano

21 December, 2006 11:24  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Venezolano - it was entirely random. I might equally have used Tongan, quads and the Paris Ritz. Venezuela was just the first thing that popped into my mind, god knows why. I've never even been there!

21 December, 2006 12:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not ok to have a play and some harmless fun with a jacket.

But it is Ok to wage war, kill innocents, oppress people in the name of religion/religious figures.

Thats the middle east for you.


21 December, 2006 12:41  
Blogger Kiwi Boy said...

What gets me is that parents complained about the play being "inappropriate".. I think it's them who should get educated!

21 December, 2006 16:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We attended our son's (UK curriculum) school's "end of year" , ie Christmas, production this week - monkeys, snowflakes, frogs, even ducks abounded. Very seasonal indeed, particularly in Qatar.

21 December, 2006 23:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We did Joseph and the technicolor coat every year for ever at St. Mary's, funny that just now they've decided to ban it....silly people

22 December, 2006 00:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This same musical was also produced at my children's school in Jumeirah last year. Anyone else feel like we're dancing the dance of 'one step forward~two steps back'?

22 December, 2006 07:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually agree with the authorties on this one. Anything that can keep Andrew sodding Lloyd Webber 'tunes' from being performed in public, especially by the young and impressionable, has to be entirely lauded.

23 December, 2006 12:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Schools in Dubai have been regularly producing this play ever since I came here 17 years ago. I presume Lady Laila was either not around or took up her position recently.

Funny how what's right and what's wrong depends on who's in charge. Or perhaps on which side of the bed they got up from.

Nonetheless, this whole thing is educative for me in that I now realise Joseph is considered a prophet in Islam. The play itself, as I understand, is based more on the Biblical account, in which Joseph is not considered a prophet. He may have made prophetic utterances, and is well known (from that account) as a person who accurately interpreted dreams, but from a Biblical standpoint did not hold prophetic office.

Brings up the interesting question of how many of the characters shared by the Bible and Al Qu'ran are prophets in Islam. Moses and Abraham, for example are both considred prophets. What about Aaron, Moses' brother, or any one of Joseph's 11 brothers?

Haven't seen the play...could someone clarify whether Joseph is "ridiculed" in it? (He's dead, by the way, so can't take offence, but I'm sure there are many "live" people willing to be offended on his behalf.)

I didn't see "Passion of the Christ" either, but I do believe that Jesus Christ (whom Muslims consider a prophet) was actually portrayed in it...or was there just a background commentary?

23 December, 2006 12:23  
Blogger Keef said...

Gibbon: no, nobody is ridiculed in this play, they are celebrated. This comes down to the Islamic idea of not portraying people lest they become idols. Don't get me started on this...!

24 December, 2006 22:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This musical play has been performed in Dubai on a number of previous occasions. In fact the first performance was in a school way back in 1976! Perhaps no one sent the script to the Education Authories then either!

30 December, 2006 12:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's just that someone read the words of "Close every door" for the first time...

24 January, 2007 10:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why a play depicting A JEW PHROPHET in the sandlands anyway? Heresy I say. Next thing you know they will open a synagogue or something of that nature. Luckily they BANNED IT. Saves the father's of the kids those few hours of having to sit through the play. Instead they can go and find a hooker somewhere downtown.

23 March, 2007 17:14  

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