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Donors axe funding for Tricycle Theatre as date for second protest is announced

Protest lobbied the Tricycle Theatre last week  Picture: Nigel Sutton Protest lobbied the Tricycle Theatre last week Picture: Nigel Sutton

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
3:42 PM

A second protest outside the Tricycle Theatre has been planned following its decision to not host a Jewish event because it was funded by the Israeli Embassy.

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Sir Trevor Chinn has withdrawn his funding (Pic credit: PA)Sir Trevor Chinn has withdrawn his funding (Pic credit: PA)

The playhouse in Kilburn High Road, which receives £198,000-a-year funding from Brent Council, came under fire for its decision about the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Last week more then 100 people protested outside the theatre claiming it was punishing the Jewish community by politicising the celebration of Jewish cinema.

The organiser of the second protest, who lives in Brent and asked remain anonymous, said it will attract more demonstrators and includes key speakers.Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director of the Tricycle, labelled the funding festival organisers received from the embassy as “inappropriate” given the current furore between Israel and Palestine.

She added that alternative funding was offered to the festival organisers and that the theatre would not accept financial support from any government agency involved in the crisis.

Indhu Rubasingham is the artistic director at the Tricycle © Jane Hobson.Indhu Rubasingham is the artistic director at the Tricycle © Jane Hobson.

The news of second protest comes as it has been revealed one of the Tricycle’s donors has ended his five-year relationship with them.

According to the Jewish News, Sir Trevor Chinn will stop his annual four-figure donations.

Sir Trevor, who is also a member of the Jewish Leadership Council’s executive committee, told the newspaper: “We are as a community under pressure from the boycott movement. We can’t accept boycotts and whenever one comes along we have to fight it”.

“The Tricycle is going to lose a lot of audience members and a lot of financial support. It’s a tragedy because this is a theatre that needs and, in the ordinary course, deserves support.

Cllr John Warren will investigate the theatre. Picture credit: Jan NevillCllr John Warren will investigate the theatre. Picture credit: Jan Nevill

Celia Atkin, whose Atkin charitable Foundation supports causes in the fields of the arts, health and poverty relief, also confirmed to the Jewish News they will stop its funding.

She said: “This is a very sad situation. It has made me feel uncomfortable, unwelcome and unable to continue to attend or support the theatre.”

Cllr John Warren, leader of Brondesbury Park Conservative, told the Times he will probe the theatre’s decision because of the funding it receives from Brent Council.

He said: “We disagree with artistic discrimination, and as such disagree with the Tricycle’s decision.

“I am, with others, looking at whether the Tricycle has in any way breached its charitable status and whether there is any breach in the funding agreement with Brent.”

The Tricycle has refused to make any further comment.

The second protest will take place on August 20 at 6.30pm.

Related links: Investigation launched into Tricycle Theatre’s £198k-a-year funding from Brent Council
Protesters lobby the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn over its refusal to host Jewish event
Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn refuses to host Jewish film festival over Gaza conflict

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