LGBTQI+ Pretoria Theatre

Photo: Unsplash

Pretoria theatre in ‘homophobia’ row – after LGBTQI+ show for kids cancelled

The DA’s Rainbow Network has strongly opposed the cancellation of a puppet show at a Pretoria Theatre, which aims to teach kids about LGBTQI+ issues.

LGBTQI+ Pretoria Theatre

Photo: Unsplash

The Pierneef Theatre in Pretoria has received an enormous backlash, after they moved to cancel a puppet show which featured LGBTQI+ characters. The performance, aimed at children, was initially pulled from their schedule. The venue then, allegedly, offered performers the chance to retake their slot – if they paid triple the venue hire price.

Pretoria Theatre pulls LGBTQI+ show – but why?

On Friday 23 October, the theatre is said to have informed the Drizzles Production Company that they could no longer perform their ‘Kinderteater’ puppet show, which was scheduled for 30 and 31 October. They then backtracked, jacked-up their costs, and in the process, upset the DA’s Rainbow Network (Darn):

  • Darn contest that theatre management decided the content is too controversial.
  • The children’s theatre puppet show contains characters that identify as queer, to encourage LGBTIQ awareness.
  • However, this subject matter was apparently deemed ‘offensive’.
  • Pretoria Pride sent a letter to the theatre pointing out that the cancellation is in direct contravention of the Constitution.

Homophobia row engulfs Pierneef Theatre

Wayne Helfrich is a leading representative for the Rainbow Network. He said that the cancellation was tantamount to ‘homophobic behaviour’, blaming the Pierneef for ‘encouraging discrimination’.

“The DA Rainbow Network will under no circumstances condone homophobic behavior because an injustice to one is an injustice to all. It is concerning that during Pride Month as well as Mental Health Month, the Pierneef Theatre would rather encourage discrimination than education.”

“If there were more platforms available for children’s theatre with queer characters, which assist with destigmatisation and education, there would be fewer teen suicides and brutal assaults and murders of members of the LGBTIQ community. The theatre is in contravention of Section 16 of the Bill of Rights.”

Wayne Helfrich