Controversial Bible comedy group returning to Newtownabbey

The Reduced Shakespeare Company return to Theatre at The Mill in Newtownabbey on April 16 with The Complete History of Comedy (abridged)
The Reduced Shakespeare Company return to Theatre at The Mill in Newtownabbey on April 16 with The Complete History of Comedy (abridged)
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The comedy troupe behind a spoof play about the Bible which sparked a massive row in Newtownabbey last year is to return with a new show.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company (RSC) is heading for Theatre at The Mill as part of its 2015 spring/summer UK tour.

A major row erupted last January after the council’s Artistic Board – a group of elected and independent members which approves the programme of shows and events for the theatre – gave the go-ahead for the company to perform its controversial comedy about the Bible.

The production, The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged), was banned from the council venue following objections from DUP councillors and claims that the show was “blasphemous” and “offensive to Christians”.

However, after a huge public outcry and complaints about “political censorship”, the play finally went ahead in front of a sell-out crowd.

Now the RSC has announced plans for a return to Newtownabbey in April, this time with The Complete History of Comedy (abridged).

Written and directed by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, the show enjoyed a successful run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014. It covers comedy through the ages, from Aristophanes and Shakespeare to Vaudeville and Charlie Chaplin.

“The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) is far more affordable than tickets to an amusement park, but you’ll still come away with the same feeling of nausea and motion sickness,” an RSC spokesman said.

“From cavemen telling ‘Rock Rock’ jokes to Chris Rock and everything in between, the Company leave no joke untold as they deconstruct the entire history of comedy in 90 rollicking minutes.”

The three-man RSC takes long, serious subjects and reduces them to short, sharp comedies.