Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Birmingham Hippodrome: no to Israel boycotters

    The chief executive of one of the largest touring venues in Britain has rejected calls by anti-Israel activists to cancel a show by Israeli dancers.

    Israel's Batsheva Dance Company is set to take to the stage at the Birmingham Hippodrome next month, following its successful shows at the Edinburgh International Festival.

    But ahead of the Birmingham dates, which are part of a national tour by the company, the dancers are being targeted by supporters of a cultural boycott of Israel. The same campaigners staged protests outside of the venue in Edinburgh and also disrupted the performances by shouting and waving banners about Israeli apartheid.

    The Birmingham boycott campaign is being led by the umbrella group "No 2 Brand Israel" with the help of Sue Blackwell, a former lecturer in English at the University of Birmingham known for mounting attacks on Israel.

    Last Friday she helped arrange a day of Action pushing for the Hippodrome to cancel Batsheva's two performances, asking supporters to tweet the venue using the phrase "#noaparthediinbrum".

    But Stuart Griffiths, the Hippodrome's chief executive, said the venue was delighted to be welcoming Batsheva's dancers to the UK as part of the Dance Consortium programme.

    He described the company as "a group of artists who are leaders in the world of international contemporary dance" and said that while different opinions would always exist "the artist is the first to stand up for free speech and freedom of expression".

    He added: "We hope UK audiences will gain inspiration and enjoyment from Batsheva's artistry when the company visits Birmingham in November.

    Campaigners are also challenging invitations to Batsheva to perform elsewhere in Britain, including in Salford, Bradford and Brighton.

News Features

Interview: Sara Khan

Jennifer Lipman

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Interview: Sara Khan
Books

Refugee roots link past and present

Jennifer Lipman

Friday, May 26, 2017

Refugee roots link past and present
Columnists

Admit it: there’s no Jewish vote

Jennifer Lipman

Monday, May 15, 2017

Admit it: there’s no Jewish vote
Columnists

Youth vote matters in Judaism

Jennifer Lipman

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Youth vote matters in Judaism
Uk News

Hundreds of thousands view Holocaust denial talk

Rosa Doherty

Monday, May 22, 2017

Hundreds of thousands view Holocaust denial talk
Interviews

Writing about grown-ups

Jennifer Lipman

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Writing about grown-ups
Features

Restoring their dignity

Jennifer Lipman

Monday, June 26, 2017

Restoring their dignity
Books

A Hampstead tale of blended families

Jennifer Lipman

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Hampstead tale of blended families
Uk News

Dublin to fly Palestinian flag

Ben Weich

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Dublin to fly Palestinian flag