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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 February, 2004, 12:55 GMT
Beijing forbids Vagina Monologues
The Vagina Monologues
The play has been performed around the world
China has banned the women's rights play The Vagina Monologues the day before it was due to open in Beijing.

A scheduled performance of the play in Chinese in Shanghai had already been pulled earlier in the week.

The Beijing Cultural Bureau said it was cancelled because organisers had not applied for permission to stage it which would have made it illegal.

The play, which boldly deals with sex and women's issues, has been performed in 39 countries, including Iraq.

"The play has been temporarily suspended. It hasn't been decided when it can be performed," said Shang Fang, a spokesman for the Today Art Gallery where the performance was scheduled.

It was going to be a charity event raising money for groups fighting domestic violence.

The organisers were hopeful the play would escape censorship because it was to be a non-profit show and performed in English.

A Beijing official said: "They didn't go through the procedures of applying for permission.

"Without applying, it's considered an illegal performance."

He added that if even the permit was applied for now there would not be time for it to be granted.

The producer of the Shanghai play, Li Shengying, said: "The content of the play is actually very serious and the subject is very meaningful, but I think it's the method of telling the story that some higher-ups have problems with."

Shanghai drops Vagina Monologues
10 Feb 04  |  Entertainment
'Monologues' banned in Malaysia
07 Feb 02  |  Entertainment
Men's free tickets for Vagina Monologues
27 Nov 01  |  Entertainment

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