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Thursday, 7 February, 2002, 11:26 GMT
'Monologues' banned in Malaysia
Anita Dobson, Lisa Stansfield and Cecilia Noble star in the London show
London stars: Anita Dobson, Lisa Stansfield and Cecilia Noble
A second run of the hit show The Vagina Monologues has been banned in Malaysia.

Authorities in the capital city Kuala Lumpur have ruled the show cannot return because of "complaints from a number of people".

Sophie Dahl
Sophie Dahl has appeared in the stage show
The work, written by Eve Ensler, had a brief Malaysian run in January, when three local actresses played to packed houses.

It is not known exactly what the complaints were about.

The play has been performed around the world and has featured a variety of stars including Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, Susan Sarandon and Whoopi Goldberg.

Previous productions in London have included models Jerry Hall and Sophie Dahl - the new cast features Anita Dobson, Lisa Stansfield and Cecilia Noble.

'Important'

Marion D'Cruz, executive producer of Kuala Lumpur's Five Arts Centre which staged the first run, said she was disappointed that the show would not be coming back.

She said: "The play stands as an important piece of theatre, dealing with some serious issues of oppression and some things which are a little more funny.

"We do not choose to do controversial things because they are controversial. We have always done work we feel is important."

Originally produced in New York for a brief OBIE Award-winning run in 1996, the show has since travelled the globe.

Ms Ensler put the play together following 200 diverse interviews with a wide range of women around the world.

The resulting play has been described by critics as "powerful, humorous and brave".

Plays are not the only medium that Malaysia has a history of banning or heavily editing.

Blacklist

Western films which it considers offensive to its political or religious sensibilities have also been dropped.

In 1994, the Oscar-winning Schindler's List was blacklisted, sparking criticism from US Jewish groups.

Steven Spielberg's animated epic The Prince of Egypt was barred so as not to offend the country's majority Muslim population.

Malaysia also outlawed the second instalment of Mike Myers' spoof secret agent Austin Powers.

The international man of mystery was withdrawn because the Censorship Board says The Spy Who Shagged Me contained too much sexual innuendo.

Recently Ben Stiller's comedy Zoolander was also under attack because it featured a plot to assassinate the Malaysian prime minister.

See also:

12 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Malaysia bans Austin Powers
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