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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 March, 2005, 12:09 GMT
Award for Sikh demonstration play
Poster for Behzti
The prize is worth $10,000
The author of a play which sparked violent protests outside a Birmingham theatre has won an award for the work.

Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti has taken the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Behzti. It was dropped by the Repertory Theatre after the demonstration in December.

The US-based award is made annually to the best English language play by a woman and is worth $10,000.

Protesters clashed with police in opposition to the play, which depicts murder and rape in a Sikh temple.

'Out of context'

Ms Bhatti had to go into hiding after receiving death threats.

Matt Wolf, theatre critic and one of the judges of the prize, said: "Ms Bhatti writes with courage, intelligence and skill about family dynamics within a larger, ceaselessly fascinating social and cultural context."

Speaking after the cancellation, Ms Bhatti said she felt the play was "respectful" to Sikhism.

"I am proud to come from this remarkable people and do not fear the disdain of some, because I know my work is rooted in honesty and passion.

"Unfortunately the contents of Behzti seem to have been taken out of context by many."

There are not believed to be any theatres currently planning to bring Behzti back to the stage.

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