Twelve people were arrested following a scuffle that took place during a protest outside Polksi Theatre in Wroclaw, Poland. Members of a Catholic organization endeavored to prevent theatre-goers from attending Death And The Maiden — a play based on Princess Dramas: Death and the Maiden I-V — by Nobel Prize-winning writer Elfriede Jelinek.
Demonstrators on Saturday (21 November) took offense to the pornographic nature of the play and the cast, which includes porn stars. In another incident, protesters threw eggs and tomatoes at the theatre director Krzysztof Mieszkowski’s mother’s house.
According to the theatre’s website, the play revolves around various aspects of torture and the best ways to inflict it. In a special mention, the organisers highlighted, “…the production is suitable for REALLY adult audiences only and contains sex scenes”.
The event has brought to light the rising influence of Poland’s new conservative pro-Catholic government and the growing intolerance. Newly-appointed Culture Minister Piotr Glinski pointed out that the show is state-funded and has recommended that the play be cancelled.
His opponents have now labelled Glinski’s efforts to close curtains on the production as a violation of freedom of speech.